Friday, 1 April 2011

Egypt!! Sharm el Sheik

November 17-21
Well, after almost 3 months of planning it's time for me and Vicki to set off on our trip to EGYPT!! We spent 4 days in Sharm el Sheik on the Red Sea, then flew to Cairo for a 10 day tour seeing all the ancient sites. After a 5 hour flight we had a few hours to relax our hotel before being picked up at 10.30pm to go climb Mt Sinai, where Moses received the 10 Commandments. There was HEAPS of people climbing through the night to watch the sunrise in the morning. And it was a spectacular sunrise! 
Lots of people, and lots of steps!

After climbing back down the 2200m mountain we went to St Catherine's Monastery, where the 'burning bush' is (the fire seems to have extinguished). It was then breakfast time and back to the hotel for another couple of hours rest, before we got picked up for quadbiking!

Quadbiking was a bit of a let down really - the top speed was 30km/hr and all of it single file, and the path was rather flat, so no fun sand dunes to ride over either :( We had a drink stop and saw a camel that liked Pepsi! Makes the fact I gave my Abby cat watered down red cordial look tame! hehe
 The next day we went to the beach by shuttle bus. The water was quite nice, and there were a few colourful fish. We got the 3.30 bus back as we thought we were being picked up at 5 for a Bedouin show and dinner. Turns out we were actually due to be picked up at 3.30... Luckily Egyptains work on their own time (i.e. always late) and we had only missed the bus by 15 mins and they were able to come pick us up. I think the fact that the tour operator, Sami liked us white blonde girls that they made an exception for us :p.
After a short bus ride we took a camel ride through the desert to the location of our dinner. We helped make some traditional flat bread and had dinner. After dinner we had a go at Sheesha - my first time smoking, EVER. The Bedouin people then performed a show for us tourists, including belly dancing and a 'spinning man', who must have spun in perfect circles for at least 10 min :s

Making flat bread

The next day we had an early start for a day of snorkelling and diving! We went to 3 different spots, and it was amazing seeing the desert meeting the sea. I'm so used the the rainforest meeting the sea! The water was so clear and warm, although the reef wasn't quite as spectacular as the Great Barrier Reef. We went diving at the 2nd location. After a run through of the hand signals and how to breathe, it was time to dive! Wow! Diving is AMAZING. The best experience of the whole trip. It is so relaxing and just amazing! I went to 15.3m, even though beginner divers aren't supposed to go more then 10m :) Vicki had her turn next, and after a shaky start with getting used to breathing under water, she was so glad she did it! We did some sunbaking, and mum, you will be pleased to know I practiced sun safety!
Extreme sun safety :P

That night we were going to the local markets with our Bedouin dinner guide, Sami. While we were waiting for him to pick us up, we were talking to one of the other tour operater representatives, and he said that him and I should have 7 babies in 7 days together. Not really sure how that would work though... Sami picked us up, and we went for a walk throught the markets and had tea. It was a really nice night, and Sami was really kind, and paid for both of us! Unfortunately though, our tummies didn't agree, and the next morning I got the dreaded diahorrea :(. We were flying out to Cairo that day too, ready to start our 10 day tour, so I took some Imodium, as I didn't fancy getting up and down continuously on a plane flight.
Sami, and our dinner