To the camels and 46 celsius weather, Egypt!
I don’t know if some of you remember the turmoil in Egypt back in 2013.
Blood and Chaos Prevail in Egypt, Testing Control
Thousands of followers of the embattled Muslim Brotherhood march in Cairo to denounce a crushing assault by Egyptian forces on Wednesday, facing police officers authorized to use lethal force if threatened.
The country seems to descend into anarchy as more than 1000 people are killed in street battles.
Yup that’s when we decided to go… great! Because this was in the news like everyday people cancelled their flights and were a little bit afraid to go. A lot of airlines stopped going to Egypt for a short period of time because of this (I can understand) but in reality this is what happens everyday just not all that’s happening in the world is on tv. What the media broadcasted on tv were fights, deaths, aggressive people, military forces, all of this was filmed “close up” so it looked like a lot was happening “all over Egypt” of course this wasn’t true. All of this happened in one spot in Cairo! Don’t let the media get a grip on you! Egypt is so big there’s no reason not to go there. The distance from Cairo to the place where we were going, is the same as from Amsterdam to Paris. So if something happend in Amsterdam would you cancel your flight to Paris? I don’t think so right.
So we booked our flight from Amsterdam to Sharm el-Sheikh and from there we drove for about an hour and a half to the place Dahab (90 km north of Sharm el-Sheikh). Later that day we heard that our flight was the last flight of the airline to Sharm el-Sheikh, they cancelled all flights for a short period of time so I guess we were lucky haha (including other airlines too). Dahab is also known as one of the treasures for divers. Even if you’re just going to snorkel around the underwater world is a whole different planet here it’s absolutely astonishing. Oh I wanted to say that the reason why we chose to go to Egypt is because we met a family here in my hometown who have a little house in the midst of all the locals in Dahab, their house is called Aida House.
In our first 2 days we basically met half of Dahab already, this place is like one big street along the coast. We also stayed a few nights at Bedouin divers and the people were so good and friendly, sometimes I think “are the dutch really such douchebags and arrogant”. The thing is we people in the west we live for ourselves, we live in a house that has 4 walls and because the weather is pretty lame we’d all rather stay inside for most of the time. The culture in the east is totally different but very heart warming. Some people say the weather has nothing to do with how people are and what people do, I myself believe it actually does effect the way people are. I’m serious when saying the people are truly friendly and they mean it for real. Not like us that we put on a smile because we need to be friendly. My dad and I took diving lessons and got our PADI certificate 8 days later. We did a few dives there and it’s wow just wow! absolutely gorgeous, all the coral over here is still untouched and the water is so clear you can see like a few hundred meters in front of you. When you dive they will learn you how to hover, and it’s forbidden to rest on the bottom because you might have a change of hitting coral with your flippers, which they would like to prevent. Diving is also (next to food) a great income for the city, it almost never rains, and sometimes the restaurants are out of some provisions. Along the coast you see unfinished buildings a lot. People started building hotels and restaurants because tourism was upcoming in the town, but most of them didn’t finish building because of all the fighting and bad news on tv in our countries, the tourism went downhill and they couldn’t earn money, some people stayed and some went to Sharm el-Sheikh or Cairo for work, there was simply no tourism. it’s getting better and better since a few years but now with all the stuff going on in Syria and the surrounding countries people get afraid and decide not to go lately. Despite all this the people are still fun to hang with and chill, because what else is there to do besides chilling and drinking tea…
We went to some spots like the blue hole, it’s not the famous blue hole you see on the internet which is in Belize, this blue hole is different but also really gorgeous. We dived there between high walls of coral and gorgeous species of fish. We did saw a shark at the bottom, but unfortunately we couldn’t get any closer because as an open water (level 1) diver you can only go down to a depth of 18 meters and this shark was a bit deeper. I had a camera with me but somehow the videos all got blurry because of the water condense inside the housing :/ yea too bad I would’ve loved to how you some vids.
We also went to the south of Dahab and started snorkeling there. The first 40 meters in sea you had to walk across rocks because it was so low you couldn’t swim, of course you also had to watch out for super huge sea urchins, they were all very large and you don’t wanna step in one these… at the edge of the rocks 40 meters into sea already, we put on our masks went down and pulled ourselves over the cliff, O-M-G gorgeous! I had never ever seen something like this. The second you went over the cliff underwater you looked down into a 60 meter drop down and a wall full of color, fish, and so many other interesting species, I looked to the left and to the right there was no end to that wall of coral!
Of course there were days so hot 46-47 celsius, you just couldn’t do a damn thing except being lazy and lay all day in the shade haha it was really really hot. In the third week we did a desert tour on quads and in buggy’s, this was really awesome, we stopped a few times to rest and at the end of the day when night time was falling we stopped high in the mountains and had dinner and a great campfire. Around 11pm it was pitch-black dark and we still had to go back 2 hours to Dahab.
I can’t really say we saw any other villages because we spend so much time on diving and touring around in Dahab it was just so much fun here. A few days before we had to go back we checked our flight if it was still flying and guess what it was also cancelled, whuooo! more holiday for us! My dad called the airline and they couldn’t do anything about it because they were forbidden to fly this country. They did give us an option which wasn’t actually an option to begin with. They wanted us to take a bus and go to the North Sinai and then to Cairo… it was war in North Sinai, you don’t send a family with younger kids through North Sinai to a war zone in a bus, that was absolutely the worst option that you can get. We decided to stay a few days longer until the airline was flying again, back home we tried to get our money back for the phone bill and half of our tickets, we got it back plus some vouchers worth 80 euro which we could spend on food on the airplane.
If you ever consider to go diving I highly recommend to do it in Dahab! also check out Bedouin divers! I’m not saying this because I want to promote them I just really felt like the instructors were there for you, they comfort you so good they guide you and most of all they had patience, they didn’t rush anything, we weren’t pushed to do it faster and they were very professional in their job!
We had a blast! the weather is great, the vibe is good and life is wonderful here. I didn’t take a lot of pictures here, because I was enjoying this so much I never had such a chill holiday as this one.