Date: 6th and 7th December 08
Location: Marsa Alam, Egypt
Weather: Clear blue skies and sunshine, 32°c
Status: Disgusted by Hurghada!
Left the relative comfort of the café’s garden and hit the road north passing more and more resort style hotels in various states of being finished, their frequency increasing the further north we went towards Hurgahda.
Getting to the internet was the most important job to ensure that the visa applications had gone in to Sami as the email I had sent bounced back worryingly. We drove the relatively easy 250kms along boring straight tarmac and arrived just after lunch in what I can only describe as my idea of hell!!
Wall to wall hotels, souvenir shops and pushy salespeople wherever you went, and the town was full of foreign mainly European or Russian tourists all horribly taken in by the place. There is not an inch of beach front left for the public, purely reclaimed land for the next ghastly development!
Add to that the fact that the tourist police here won’t allow you to camp and I had an instant dislike for all around me! The only option was to check into a hotel for the night and head out as quickly as we could the next day, enter Hotel Zahabiha….
I won’t be staying here or anywhere like this ever again…now I can appreciate the value of the package holiday for some people but it has never, and will never, appeal to me! The room was good enough, the food was acceptable but the class of people here was, shall I say, slightly lower than normal! Enough said….
We got up early and Bre and I left the others in the town to go back down south towards Sharm el Naga, around 50kms away as is it indicated on the map there’s the chance of camping and as we could be waiting a few days for the visas to be issued I want to stay somewhere I can save money and enjoy too.
Arrived at the dive shop and the place had a good feel from the start, only around 20 guests on the beach, a friendly welcoming reception and crystal clear warm waters teeming with life…possibly the last of the trip!
We set up camp and told the others of our good fortune so they decided they’d join us in time for sunset, Ammon had other ideas and wanted to save more money by staying in Cairo in some hostel so left on an afternoon bus.
Bre and I went to the beach and snorkelled around loving the huge array of life everywhere, the fish come right up to you and even have a nibble of you let them…we’ll dive here tomorrow for sure!
Paradise has been found again after yesterday’s hell, thank god!
End of day location: Sharm el Naqa, Egypt
Distance covered: 50kms