Trip Start Aug 14, 2007
114Trip End May 23, 2008
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· GMT +2hrs
It always amazes me how time passes when one has positively nothing to do. 4 nights we've now spent here in Dahab and we still don't know when we're leaving. The reason we don't know is because we have yet to go to Mt. Sinai (organising a trip there is proving quite the task) and we're condemning ourselves to continue doing nothing here in Dahab until we do. I should say continue doing 'not much' because we have found ways to pass the time we've spent here already. Yes, we've lounged around drinking Stella beers, playing pool and swatting flies. We even snorkeled in the reefs just offshore. Pat, bless him, has managed to read 4 books in as many days and I've written up a few Travelpod entries. Oh, and somewhere amongst all that we've managed to find a couple of spare moments to collectively wonder when we will actually put our bags on our backs and leave here. There are 3 very good reasons why we should have left already -
1 - there is still nothing to do here,
2 - we've already spent twice as long here as we had initially planned on spending, and
3 - we've more ground to cover now than, again, initially planned.
I have already over-landed it from Ireland to Turkey earlier in this trip. It is just that things were different back then, very different (it was a 'real' honeymoon, we had a diligently pre-planned and set 'we-have-got-to-be-here-by-this-date' itinerary and we never spent anywhere near 36-40 hours on any means of transport, something myself and Pat are sentencing ourselves to by going through with this). Anyway, with the excuses for brushing off the accomplishments of the first 5 weeks of this travelblog out of the way, I'll go on to say that I hinted at the possibility of our feet not leaving the ground for the rest of this trip in an earlier entry. Well, now it's a go. A definite go. A decision has been made. A democratic decision. We both have dates we would ideally like to be back in Ireland for but at this stage it's anyone's guess as to when we'll actually make it. One thing is for sure - we have got to get out of Dahab first, and that's proving easier said than done.
Day 249 to & 252 Observations (April 18th to 21st 2008)
· Electronics graveyard
The electronics casualties from this trip are adding up and collectively we're now carrying around a few heavy, expensive paperweights. First it was my laptop, then it was my 'broken-during-a-slightly-inebriated-fall-into-a-Goa-beach-shack' multimedia player that I bought a few months ago in Korea, and now the latest addition, Pat's digital camera. He woke this morning to find the LCD screen damaged. It is a mystery as to how it broke; he never takes it out with him. Can it be blamed on the Stella? Maybe, maybe not. Btw, I finally got around to transferring music onto my new, bought in Dubai and as yet not broken, multimedia player. Here's hoping it stays off the electronics RIP list.
· A sight
Seeing two Arabs, in full Arab dress, playing pool in a western-style disco bar here in Dahab last night will be a sight that will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
· Where are you?
The last 3 days here in Dahab have been hot, windy and very quiet. Considering all the resorts here seem to be fully booked we're wondering where all those people, mainly Europeans, especially Russians, are during the day. They can't all be divers, can they?
· Party Animals
It is all about drinking and late nights here in Dahab. Or at least it should be. Saturday night we were in bed at 10pm and last night by 9pm. The fact that we started drinking yesterday at 2pm while watching the Newcastle vs Irelan... sorry, Sunderland English Premiership game might account for the early night last night but we've no valid excuse for Saturday night's debacle.
· Customer service
The Egyptians running the resorts/villages here in Dahab need to learn a thing or two about customer service. We've moved out of our accommodations twice since we arrived here 4 nights ago. We moved out of the Bedouin Lodge after one night because the management didn't seem all that interested in fixing our wholly inadequate shower or acknowledging the fact that Pat's mattress was damp. And then this morning we moved from the Penguin Village partly because of a double booking issue and partly because they responded to a query by me as to where we could get a fresh water shower (all water here is salt water) by telling me to "go to the Hilton." Our latest accommodation, The Sphinx, is the only one of the three places we've now stayed here in Dahab that is not listed in our Lonely Planet guidebook and it seems to be the best of the lot. All of this hasn't improved our opinion of the Egyptians that deal with foreigners but we realise that their attitude here in Dahab is due to the fact that demand always seems to outstrip supply.
· Accommodation worth its salt
Showering, shaving and washing, especially your teeth, in salty water is an experience, just not a very pleasant one. We've been doing it now for 4 days and our lips in particular feel like they have been sucking on an olive for twice as long as that. It's just another reason why we should have already left here, but emm, haven't.
· Different world
'The Sinai Peninsula offers superb diving and snorkelling. Amazing coral reefs, tropical fish and sunken wrecks make the Red Sea a paradise for scuba divers and snorkellers'
- The Rough Guide to Egypt
We went snorkeling today. The last time I was snorkeling was on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, over 5 years ago and I'd almost forgotten how magical an experience it is. Sharing the silent, colourful underwater world of a coral reef with hundreds of shimmering, brightly coloured fish, all of which seem totally oblivious to your presence in their environment, is always a magical experience. Ingesting salt water however isn't.
I'm normally a very organised kind of traveller, especially when it come to finances, so it's kind of alarming to me that we have absolutely no idea how much money we've spent so far, and thus how much I actually have left for the rest of whatever this trip has in store for us. It's a consequence of not having access to my finances (you might remember my bank card stopped working in Delhi) and using Pat's money, the amount of which we've spent has been noted but not summed. According to Pat I'm not to worry about it and that according to his obviously twisted logic the more money we spend here the better off we are.
"It is better to spend money here because doing things here is cheaper than doing them in Ireland and so if we spend money doing things here we're actually saving money. So you see Dave, the more money we spend here the better off we are."
"Right lad, whatever you say."
Where I stayed