After many hours of waiting, Sinai at last!

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 04, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Egypt  , Red Sea and Sinai,
Sunday, June 29, 2008

I woke up super early for what seems like 48 days in a row.  I left the hotel in Luxor around 6:30am, and by 7:00am I was waiting in the gate for my 8:25am flight to Sharm el-Sheikh.  My backpack definitely had toiletries and 2 1.5L bottles of water.  I wonder if this is what it was like in American airports pre-911.

The flight from Luxor to Sharm could not have been longer than 20 minutes.  I glanced at the window and saw a huge range of desert mountains and little dots of civilization at the bottom.  Once in Sharm, I bravely bargained with a taxi driver to get to the main bus station.  The road to the bus station kind of reminded me of Orlando.  Lots of flashy resorts on either side of the road, and people in bathing suits just walking around.  At the ticket counter, I found out that I had just missed the early morning bus, and the next bus to Dahab was at 2:30pm!   Of course, seeing that I was trying to get a ticket to Dahab, several guys immediately approached me to try to sell a 250EGP taxi ride to Dahab (the bus ride was 20EGP).  I traded 3 hours of my day to save 200+EGP, yep.  The first hour went by okay, mostly dreading the next 3 hours of waiting.  I got antsy in the second hour, but sitting on a bench in the shade helped.  In the last 2 hours, I hung out with an Egyptian girl who worked at the convenience store.   I bargained with her to get a bag of ketchup-flavored chips (1EGP), and we started communicating in incoherent English/Arabic and body language.  She had bleached blonde hair and dressed kind of... ghetto?   I liked her because she gave me free food and small bills for my 100EGP bill.  I was quite happy to see English-speaking people show up at the station.  I was really happy to see the Dahab bus pull into the station.  With only 8 passengers, the bus was quiet and comfortable, and I slept most of the way there.  I woke up twice for the passport check.   When I told the guy that my bag and passport were deeply buried in the bus storage, he just asked me for my nationality and let me go back to sleep.  Then finally, we were in Dahab.

Oh my gosh.  I love, love, love, LOVE, LOVEEE Dahab!!!  This place is so amazing!  It is a little different than I thought- the amount of development and the proximity of shops to the beach and the desert mountains.  But it's great!  Once I got to the bus station, the British guy I was talking to (I should stop calling them "the British guys" because they are all guys and all British) offered to take me to the Red Sea Relax Resort.  We were going to grab a taxi when a random guy popped out and told us to hop onto his pick-up truck.  Feeling a sense of adventure, we threw our bags in and hopped on.  3 more British guys (see!) were heading to the same place and joined us.  The ride was exhilarating and I could see the town surrounded by blue waters and dry mountains.  The driver threw us off in the middle of a strip of restaurants and hotels because we did not pay enough money.  Then he tried to convince us to stay at some shady place.  NO.  We all walked a while looking for our place, and we eventually found it.  It's super nice and clean- definitely a fun place to stay for people in between 18 and 25.   

I am doing my Advanced Open Water course with Penguin Divers, so I stopped by to get some documents and talk to the instructor.  It is quite a walk from Red Sea Relax, but the walk is so nice that I don't even mind.  I went to a beachside restaurant, plopped down on one of the comfortable beach chairs, and sipped on some guava smoothie.  Later, I went to dinner with a girl from the hostel and had shish kebab and mango-guava juice.  Life is good!  On the way back, we saw some people from our hotel chilling at another restaurant, so we joined them.  Hookah here is 5EGP.  That is 95 cents, my friends.  That is how much a bottle of water costs at a restaurant.  Did I mention that I love this place??

Several of you have told me that I seem to be spending way too much time on updating my entries.  I appreciate your concerns for my time management.  I will tell you right now that posts and pictures will be sparse while I am in Dahab because I will be busy being a bum!
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