Tea in the desert with the Bedouins...

Trip Start Apr 29, 2009
Trip End May 11, 2009

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Flag of Egypt  , Red Sea and Sinai,
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Now that Maureen and I are in Dahab, its been very easy to get right into the laid back life-style of being here. Years ago this used to be a big hippie town, and still is by most standards. But as times change and always seem to go more upscale, so goes out the more casual way of things, and in comes the more modern style to attract more of a diverse crowd. It is still very laid back here , no high rises, and still very poor villages just around the corner from where all the tourists stay and hang out.
We are staying in one of those casuals places , right on the boardwalk on the water, staying in one of the best rooms in the place with a huge wooden balcony with a ocean view....and our price is $35 a night. Our hotel is called The Penguin Village....I have no idea why...there isn't a penguin in site. We have been spending the last couple days lounging on the upper deck of the Penguin restaurant on large cushions, having the most amazing food at every meal, and taking long walks on the boardwalk in the mornings and evenings...you can see how one can really get used to this way of life.
This morning we had the best Egyptian breakfast, well, actually Mo had it, and I ate half of hers because I liked hers better than mine....Its so great to have such choices for breakfast! In Asia its been my usual choice of Banana pancakes , or a fried egg.
Tonight we went on a sunset camel ride. Our ride to the village didn't show , which I'm pretty used to when planning excursions in Foreign countries..." We be there at 430...well, maybe 5:00... you just wait, we be there soon..." but a backup cab showed up and took us to a village right outside of town to board our camels. This is only our second camel ride , so we by no means are any sort of experts...the first one was just a photo-op by the pyramids as you might remember.
It was just Mo and I ( it is the slow season here) a nice young man led us up to a mountain outside of the village , and there was nothing around but desert. After a while we got off our camels and hiked up to the top a mountain where you see the most amazing views of the town and ocean below. We could of stayed up there until sunset, but me in my flip-flops ( yes , hiking in my flip-flops again...hiking shoes take up too much room in the backpack!) we decided to head down before dark, and besides we are hiking up Mt Sinai tomorrow night, in the middle of the night to catch the sunrise.
At the bottom of the mountain we stopped for tea with the Bedouins who live there by the  mountain. They were so nice, the tea was great! There English amazing...( he said he learned from American TV!) and they played some traditional music for us, and even posed with us for pictures! It is so great to be here at a time when there aren't so many tourists, and we can really feel like we are more visitors than tourists, and every where we go , we are still greeted.." Welcome to Egypt!!" with nothing but smiles and love. Things are quite poor here as well as Cairo, you don't have to go far off the path to see it. But there is no begging, and everyone seems happy with what they have and just glad that you have come to visit their country and they always ask if you like it here and if you are having a good time....we are :) Tomorrow night...the hike up Mt Sinai.......in flip flops, well me that is. Its the same mountain that Moses climbed and was given the Ten Commandments and parted the Red Sea...I'm sure you are all familiar with the story. Do you think he had hiking shoes? I think not, I'm sure he was in Sandals and did just fine :-) At least thats my excuse.
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