Trip Start Oct 08, 2010
13Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
What I did
Ras Abu Gallum
So, I made it back to Dahab in time for my birthday! When Ruben asked me what I wanted to do, I said I'd like to go somewhere I'd not been before (which is a lot of places in Sinai - I've got a list I'm hoping to work my way through this year).
He suggested walking to Ras Abu Gallum, which is usually only visited by divers (and somewhere we'll hopefully be going back to at some point, scuba gear in tow).
At a guesstimate, we reckoned it'd take between 2 and 2.5 hours to get there, so all in all, about a 5 hour round trip
Given that our poor dogs haven't been out for many walks recently, we thought we'd take them along with us. It seemed a good option as there are no towns or villages on the way, so we weren't likely to bump into any other dogs.
Bright and early on a Sunday morning, then our taxi arrived at around 9am and we got our very excited dogs into the back of the pickup and started on the drive to the Blue Hole.
Every time we take the dogs out, we have to drive somewhere first and it doesn't seem to matter how many times we do it - or how often they fall over - they don't seem to realise that sitting down makes the whole process much easier. I guess it's always amusing watching the three of them pile up (often on top of us) at the back of the pick up every time the driver slows down to go over a speed bump/pothole.
So, about 30 minutes later and we were climbing out at the other end - and off we went. We walked up to the entry to the Bells and tried to find the path (neither of us had walked this way before).
We decided climbing up the ridge in front of us seemed as good a place as any to start, and it did give us lovely views of the Blue Hole behind us - as well as a view of the actual path that was a bit further inland!
Rather than going back, we figured we could meet the path further along having negotiated the precarious ridge we'd climbed up and we managed it without too much difficulty
Just around the corner we came to what was to be one of the first of many stunning, empty beaches, where you can see the reef just offshore, glistening in blues and greens at the dropoff.
It was tempting, but it's still a little cold for just jumping in - not so much the water, it's the wind when you get out again.
We took the walk pretty slowly, stopping as and when we felt like it to have a break and give the dogs some water. Predictably, they ignored our pleas not to wear themselves out too quickly and took to running off ahead and exploring as many of the hills and ridges as they could.
It showed on the way back, when they were all much more subdued!
The only people we saw all morning were two guys with five camels and they got ahead of us pretty quickly.
Not long before we reached Ras Abu Gallum, we stopped off in a sheltered bay to have some food
It wasn't long before we'd turned a corner and could see the huts of the Bedouin camp at the sand spit just ahead of us. We put the dogs on the lead and carried on, intending to go to a restaurant recommended to us by a friend.
As soon as we reached the beach, women and children began appearing from the huts to offer us tea and ask us to sit down. We thought it best not with the dogs - who were spending most of their time lunging on their leads to try and get to the various cats that seemed to be taunting them!
After walking all the way to the end of the first stretch of huts, we got to the restaurant, only to find it was closed (you can't blame them, it's very quiet here at the moment and I don't think there had been tourists there for quite some time).
That scuppered our plans slightly and as Ras Abu Gallum is quite exposed, it was a bit too windy to sit down and chill out, plus we still had to keep the dogs on the lead.
Rather than walking back along the beach and getting hassled once again for tea, taxis and glass-bottomed boat rides, we wandered inland and skirted around the back of the huts near the mountains - much more peaceful!
So, we decided to return to the little bay a bit further back for a rest in the sun - Ruben considered swimming but got up to his knees and gave up
Boudy, however, decided he was far too hot (to be fair, he has a thick, black coat) and did jump in for a swim, apparently it's the first time he's done more than wade of his own accord!
In a similar fashion to my family's old dog Buster (apologies to anyone reading this who never had the pleasure of meeting that wonderful creature), he started swimming without thinking about how he'd get out!
Having got in by the beach, he actually had quite a way to swim past relatively steep rocks before he reached a spot where he could clamber out.
He was fine though, and didn't panic, just kept going!
After running around and exploring everywhere in the bay again, the dogs finally decided they could have a well-earned rest and promptly fell asleep while we sunbathed for a little while
They didn't stir until we started packing up our bags, at which point Marmaduke decided to disappear and when I found him, he was hiding behind a rock eating part of a mummified camel carcass - lovely!
We dragged him away from that find to head on home, with the walk back taking less time than the walk out, largely because we weren't stopping as often. By this point, the dogs had given up on running on ahead and were staying pretty close - especially Marmaduke who really struggled towards the end, it's good for him though, he really needs to build his strength up.
Walking back in the shade of the mountains was lovely and seeing some of the same spots from earlier on with different light was really nice. It was also getting towards low tide by the time we were almost at the Blue Hole, so you could see some of the amazing rocks more clearly.
The sea has eroded away the bottom of many of them, so you have these huge boulders balanced on a rather insubstantial piece of rock.
As we got closer to the Blue Hole, Boudy and Bella realised it would soon be time to go back on their leads and decided to run ahead of us (and not come back) - Marmaduke was too tired to care I think.
We caught Boudy relatively easily but Bella refused to behave and Ruben eventually caught her up near the restaurants at the Blue Hole.
Our taxi driver arrived shortly after we got back and we headed home. The dogs were a pretty big contrast to the morning - all of them sat and were relatively still for the entire journey. Needless to say, the slept well that night and barely stirred all day on Monday either!
I was ready to have a bit of a sleep when we got back, but Ruben was insistent that we should go out for a coffee. After a short rest, we left the house, although I wasn't sure why he was so keen to go into town.
An hour later when we got home, it all became clear! He'd given our friend Eida his keys and she'd come in while we were out with a huge cake, biscuits, crisps, balloons, candles and other decorations to give me a "surprise party"
It really was a surprise and even when we came home to find Eida in our garden, I didn't realise what was going on, so I genuinely was astonished to walk into the house and find a table full of food set up for me! All I can say is it was a good job Chillax was closed, otherwise I'd have had no room for cake!
So, I went to bed full of sugary treats and slept really well - I even managed to drag myself out of bed at 6.30 am the next morning to go for a run - at least I felt like I was working off some of the cake from the night before!