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A DESERT DRIVE & SAILING THE RED SEA!

HURGHADA, EGYPT

sunny
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OCTOBER 27TH 2019 DAY 16

It's up with the sun this morning and I drag my bag downstairs, I swear this thing gets heavier every day... I haven't actually bought that much! All I can say is thank you for the elevators as ancient as some of them maybe.

Breakfast isn't exactly moreish, a boiled egg and some bread is about as exciting as it gets but there is coffee... yeap can't start the day with out it!

The staff help us load the bags onto the roof of the mini bus (If it falls off I will not be happy, I have another trip after this!) and it's not long before we are on the road.

The drive takes us across the river out of the busy city to those little suburbs we went thru yesterday.

It isn't long before we hit the desert highway our way to Hurghada on the Sinai Peninsula.

The desert is a constant of rocky hills with the occasional hut or tiny village. The motorway is wide, modern and easy going, not what I expected but this is the main route from the Nile to the Peninsula and trucks are a more common than cars!

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The Egyptian Desert, you don't want to go wandering!

It is bloody hot out here and not very comfortable being in the bus and I am thankful when we stop at a large service center. I think cold drinks are required for the rest of journey... Ooooh they have lattes!

It is nice to stretch the legs for a bit, but Mo is rounding us all up and it's back to the bus.

As we are about to leave a group of local elderly ladies are out the front with their donkeys and goats, the goats are hitching a ride on the backs of the donkeys, it is quite amusing but it is a tourist trap, take a photo with them for money so I sneak in a shot or 2 as I get on the bus, I had to it's is comical!

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A little comical!

After anther couple of hours we finally reach the outskirts of Hurghada, the wide streets are lined with Palm trees and it is quite clean and modern.

We stop at a ATM before we wind our way thru the sloped narrow streets of the city center to our Hotel.

It is a huge sprawling place, the hotel lobby is old worldly with a marble, brass and wood interior. It takes a while to get our rooms organized, so we wait by the pool. It seems we have the lace to ourselves!

The rooms do not live up the expectations the reception area set, they are very basic and the bathroom... well let's just say is run down and in need of some maintenance!

We do have a little balcony which has a view of the pool!

I dump the bag on the bed and head back down stairs to meet up with the girls and we head out, we have a pass at one of the beach front resorts to use their beach facilities... ooh fancy, wish we were staying here!

We find a spot on the beach and spend the afternoon relaxing, the water is warm, but it becomes a little over cast so we just chill out chatting until the sun begins to set!

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Relaxing spot!

We head back and I catch up on some washing there is no where to really to hang the wet clothes so the balcony table and chairs will do!
There is time to relax before I head sown to meet the girls for dinner.

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The hotel pool!

Hanny is and expert at finding the right places to go and we discover this funky little pizza place not far.

The interior is quirky and fun, with a kinda hippy vibe. The cold beer and pizza goes down a treat, in fact the pizza is bloody lovely!

We slowly make our way back to the hotel stopping at a little shop for supplies on the way.

The rest of the group are sitting outside by the pool finishing dinner so we join them and have a drink.. yeap you guessed it Hibiscus Tea!

Suddenly Tracey and Mo are standing beside with a birthday cake! I thought I had kept that quiet, I don't remember telling anyone!

The cake is amazing made up in quarters with 4 different flavors, Chocolate, Mango, Cherry and Hazelnut. I really wasn't expecting this at all, what a lovely surprise! Mo and Tracey make everyone sing much to my embarrassment (I really try to avoid birthdays hate the reminder that I am getting old!)

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The Wonderful Birthday Cake!

After blowing out the candle we all share in dissecting it and it is delicious! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!

We sit around chatting for a while but after a long hot drive and a overly full belly of yummy delights it is time for bed...

OCTOBER 28TH 2019 DAY 17

After a good nights sleep I head down for breakfast. Some of the group is ready to go. The buffet is OK lots of fresh fruit and salad stuff... they really like their cucumber here!

I sit with the girls and we chat, Mo rounds us all up to get into the mini bus, today we set sail, can't wait!

A short drive thru the city and we stop at this small harbor where our boat is waiting. Before get on board we get our snorkeling gear then it's a clamber onto the boat and off we go!

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Hope we spot those!

Once on board Mo introduces us to the Captain and he shows us around the boat, lunch will be served on board in the lower deck later but we are welcome to help ourselves to cold drinks!

We head up to the top deck and watch Hurghada disappear in the distance. The Red Sea is beautiful bright blue, when the sand banks appear beneath the waters turn a lovely turquoise.

The sea breeze feels lovely after days sightseeing in the dry desert sun!

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Goodbye City, Hello the Red Sea!

The views are fantastic, so this is the Sinai Peninsula! Sandy Islands dot the horizon and we are heading for one for a relaxing morning at the beach.

I love how the water changes color with the depth.

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Sinai Peninsula!

Other boats are out and the Island we are heading for is already quite crowded!

We stop at the edge of what is kinda like a boat parking area to set down the anchor, and I am thinking do they want us to swim to shore from here! When suddenly this guy jumps out of the water on the back of the boat Tracey and I jump back in shock and just look at each other with a raised eyebrow... what the hell... where did he come from! Plus he isn't too bad on the eye, if you know what I mean!

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Stopping here for a swim!

We climb into a small motor boat that take us to shore, so yeap don't have to swim... I don't think I would have made it that far!

Once on shore we find a nice semi non crowded spot on the beach and lay out our towels, then it's straight into the water!

It's bloody lovely! So refreshing and cool! It is so great to be at the beach again! The water is the perfect temperature, little fish swim around our legs, a great way to waste time!

We spend the rest of the morning relaxing before heading back to the boat for lunch.

Once on board we set sail again. The Buffet lunch is actually a full on cooked meal, but I opt for the salad, hey we are going snorkeling soon and Mum always told us not to swim after eating!

Lunch over I sit up on the top deck with the girls and watch the islands pass by.

We stop in the off shore from sandy island and Mo tells us it's time get our gear and get off the boat!

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First Stop... for snorkeling!

Our guide is the fella that docked our boat at the island, and once we are all ready to go we jump straight in.

The reef below seems so calm and serene compared to the slightly choppy waters above. As we swim out from the boat and the beautiful world opens up below. I forgot how fantastic it was to watch.

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Well aren't you amazing!

Large brightly colored fish dart between the corals... I manage to get a few photos but got sick of fiddling with the camera so I just enjoy watching these colorful creatures dart around me! It is so much fun!

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Such a pretty one!

I am so enthralled with the scene below I hadn't noticed the others swim off ahead of me, but I kinda like having this time to myself, uncrowded, like being on my own personal safari!

The fish at the Blue Hole were smaller and the populations were dense, but the varieties are bigger and just as colorful! A rainbow of colors and weird shapes... I love it!

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Love the stripes!

I look up and notice the rest of the group are turning back, they soon catch up to me and we make our way back to the boat. I don't really want to get out but it's time to go!

Yes I am the last one on the boat and we set off for the next spot.

I just sit on the deck with a cold drink in hand and the salty water making my hair frizz into an unmanageable tangle and watch the world go by... Relaxing!

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What a way to spend the day!

We come to our next stop and it's back in the water, I am a bit cautious as this reef is quite shallow and the wind has picked up. I don't really want to cut myself on the corals so I take it slow and steady.

Once again I get left behind but I am happy too! I like having this spot to myself, how can you enjoy the view if your constantly rushing!

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Your unusually weird!

A huge brown fish darts out of the corals right in front of me and I will admit I got such a fright I lost my balance for a bit and tasted salt water! Cheeky bugger!

There are these strange long fish with weirdly long snouts that make me giggle into my snorkel. But it's the blue one I see that I have to try to photograph it's so bright and fun looking... I hope I got it.

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Ah the gorgeous blue fish!

I wish the others weren't coming back, I know we have been out here for a while but it is easy to loose track of time in this under water garden!

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s this how fish sleep?!

Sadly the afternoon has drawn on and we slowly make our way back to Hughada. We sit on the top deck and chat, enjoying he view! It has been a wonderful day and we beg Mo to let us stay out on the water for longer... sadly no!

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Our snorkeling guide and Mo!

Hurghada comes into view and the Mosque is the dominant feature on the skyline. It's nice being out on the ocean, it reminds me of fishing with my Dad, wind in the hair and the smell of salt in the air.

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Back to land!

Sadly we dock the boat and we drop our snorkeling gear off.

The bus takes for a visit to the local Mosque, Mo tells us we e that must cover from the top of heads to our toes, so the remaining wives of Mohammad stay outside... I don't know I am not anti religion, and yes I know that in this country it is their religion, but it feels wrong to me.

Maybe it is my western up bringing, but I am proud to be free to live life on my own terms and seems to me that to enter a building where you have to hide who you are is a bit... well... anti women.

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It is quite a lovely building!
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The Minoret!

So typically me I sit in the open courtyard and find a cute little stray cat in much need of affection, the cute little grey fluff ball just wants some attention, Mo and the girls make fun of me, but hey even our 4 legged friends deserve a little love and care.

When the others return Zoe and Hanny have to drag me away calling me 'the crazy cat lady' they are not too far off 'crazy animal lady' would be more precise!

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The Mosque courtyard!
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But think I will wait outside!

Back at the hotel and after a shower to wash the salt out the frizzy mess I call hair, their is time to relax. I sit on the balcony watching the sun set then head down for dinner.
The table has been set u p outside for the entire group, the usual snooties are not there, which is a good thing as they haven't stopped complaining all day.

Dinner is another buffet and it is rather good, al lot of variety... the desserts are delicious!

We chat for a while but there is something about the sea air that rests the mind and tires the body, so it;s off to bed for me!

Posted by TracingTheWorld 04:30 Archived in Egypt

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