I barely know what to write about today as I seem to have spent the entire time on a bus. We made our way to the bus station, not before I had managed to half destroy the hotel room by pulling the curtain pole out of the wall - whoops! Our bus was timetabled to leave half an hour later than we thought, but of course, we didn't actually go anywhere for another half an hour (Egyptian timetables). The bus trip that should take 6 hours maximum took more than 10 hours and my patience wore very thin. We had 3 lots of passport checks and a stop to get our luggage out to be checked by sniffer dogs. We went through more army checkpoints than I care to remember and the seats in the coach were the most uncomfortable ever, especially after the aches and pains the three hour camel ride from the day before left us. Plus, I didn't have much confidence in our drivers. After stopping the bus to check the engine because they smelled fuel, the driver lit up a cigarette before poking his head into the engine. Everyone else, it seemed, also found this the perfect opportunity to light up. Madness! I prayed we would arrive at Sharm el Sheikh in one piece...
We did arrive finally after the coach trip from hell and booked into our beach hut at Shark's Bay resort. They were lovely little self-contained rooms on a diving resort by the beach. We spent our first day on the beach and had a dip in the sea. The coral and reefs go right up to the shore so James took a snorkle for a test run. I wasn't feeling well at all and so it was a bit of a waste of a day for me. I was in bed by about 8.15, falling asleep at the dinner table. James suffered the utter boredom of letting me rest it out and I slept for a restless 11 hours. After breakfast I had sent James on a mission to the pharmacy we passed on our drive in to get more medicine. He got lost on route and ended up getting ripped off by a taxi driver keen to make a quick buck. Later in the evening we walked in the dark to the pharmacy for more meds, it wasn't how I planned on spending my holiday, I was just desperate to get over it as soon as possible.
I woke up feeling a bit better thanks to tablets, medicine and a nose spray. We decided we had better get off the resort or James would probably go stir crazy. We jumped in a taxi to Na'ama Bay. Expecting some sort of public beach we were disappointed to find out that every square inch seemed to belong to a hotel. We finally found a beach with space and paid 50LE for the use of the beach. Unfortunately for us it was pretty cloudy all day but there was beer and yummy grub so we were all good. We headed back to our hotel late afternoon and enjoyed the last of the sun with some Beduoin tea (and about 100 bloody flies). We decided to head out again in the evening to Sharm el Sheikh old market. There are all sorts of shops there but not a lot of restaurants so we hopped in yet another taxi back to Na'ama Bay for a Thai meal. We wanted to go for drinks too but with every bar seemingly empty apart from the staff it put us off slightly. Even here, in the lively part of town it was sleepy. Instead we opted for rum and diet coke froman off license (Tony's Drinkies) and went back to our room to enjoy it, along with a few quiz rounds. Then, snoresville for me to sleep off the flu.
More improvement from my camel flu this morning so we woke up early to go on our planned snorkle trip. The boat, Freedom 1, left the dock before 8.30am with a group of divers and us two lone snorklers. It took 45 mins to get to our first reef called Jackson Reef, situated off the coast of an island. We were briefed on where we coould and couldn't go due to the tide and currents. I hadn't ever really snorkled before and it took a few attempts to get the hang of it, especially with a bit of a cough and cold hanging over me. After I had managed to relax my breathing we got going and it was amazing what we could see... Parrotfish, jellyfish, cornet fish and all sorts of other colourful species I still need to look up. After a while we were off to the second dive site. This one was slightly more challenging with a bit more pull from the current. It was a long coral reef and most of the fish were the same as those we'd seen before but just as bright and exciting. This was a drift dive and the boat couldn't stay quite as close so when we got near the end we were thrown a rope to pull ourselves in. Good timing too as I had just been sucked by a current almost onto the reef and managed to swim away before I panicked too much. The rest of the time on the boat was spent catching rays. We were then served up lunch which was great grub with tuna, pasta, salads and rice. When we got back we haggled for a beach bat and ball which we managed a measly rally of 18, I need more practice. To reward our efforts we mixed up some more rum and coke to occupy the time before dinner. We both opted for the fish as it was really good at the hotel restaurant. A nice final meal before leaving the following day.
More pics can be found at my Flickr account plus I'll be reviewing some of the places we visited on Qype.
And our final destination is next... Dahab!
And our final destination is next... Dahab!