Life begins at 40!.....

Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
1
29
46
Trip End May 28, 2011


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Where I stayed
PrimaSol Ali Baba Palace Hurghada
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Egypt  , Al Baḩr al Aḩmar,
Monday, January 10, 2011

4th January 2011
 
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday me, happy birthday to me. Well the day has finally arrived…I turned 40 today. I remember in my 20s thinking about this day and what I would be doing on 4th January 2011. It has come around very quickly. Here I am in Egypt, the sun is shining and I am with my family and Alaa, apart from being able to share this day with other close friends and I can’t think of where and with whom I’d rather be. Maybe turning 40 won’t be so bad?
 
We have a fun packed day. We get picked up from the hotel at 11.30am and taken a short drive to the safari centre where we will be spending the day in the desert. First we have to buy some headscarves as they are not supplied, we then head off to visit a traditional Bedouin village a 20 minute ride in a jeep into the desert. It is an extremely bumpy ride, poor little Ellie was bouncing all over the place, I don’t think sitting at the very back helped.
 
Bedouin people originated in Saudi Arabic and traditionally live a nomadic lifestyle in one place for no more than 3 or 4 months at a time, usually moving on to find water. I didn’t realise this but apparently when water runs out the men of the village take out camels to find more water, when it senses water under its feet it sits down…and that’s the new water supply for the village for the next few months.  Obviously this village is geared around tourism so to enable and encourage the people to stay they have been given a permanent water well.  We see the women baking bread and a husband and wife weaving together.  It is a very, very basic way of living, but it is their life. They have no electricity, no beds, no TV and marry within the community, so very different to the life we know.  We then head back in the jeeps back to the centre.
 
The next activity is quad biking. I’ve always fancied doing this but was a little bit scared of either losing control or falling off. Ellie went with Jay, Alaa had his own bike and Claire came with me. We were in convoy with about 20 other bikes. There was only one gear so pretty straight forward, a lever on the handle bar was the accelerator and another one was the brake, a bit like a normal push bike. So off we go. We were told to keep in line and not to over take. Immediately Jay, in front with Ellie, has a problem, so pulls over. He then get back in line behind us.  Alaa is behind…..but not for long he over takes everyone, well boys will be boys. We never go too fast I think this is because there are lots of people with young kids with them, so not easy to go flat out, but I wish we could go a bit faster. It is great fun. Jay and Ellie are not behind us anymore…what’s happened? We then see J at the back and Ellie is driving around on another bike with a strange looking dude all in black, headscarf etc looks like a ninja turtle! But in fact it is Alex the English lady who is our tour guide for the day. Little Ellie looks so lost but we wave every time we see her. Jay couldn’t control the bike and hold onto her, it was too bumpy for her, so Alex took her and was able to go a bit slower. I really enjoyed it and could have stayed out there much longer.
 
We then had a really nice buffet BBQ, before camels…I expected to go into the desert for a nice leisurely ride, but we literally got on and were led around for just 5 minutes. But it was still good. Then there were horses and donkeys. More for the kiddies really…before the last of the main activities spider cars. Jay and Alaa decided to go together so they could go faster they said. Claire and Ellie came with me. The spider car is like something out of Mad Max…a bit like a stock racing car. We had to wear seat belts but being so small I could hardly reach the accelerator peddle, I  had to practically lie down peering through the gaps in the steering wheel so I could push the peddle as far as it would go. Again the boys over took and went right to the front, this time they were told off! This was great fun too, the sun was setting as we neared the end but it was just great to go driving through the desert as the sun went down. What a brilliant way to spend a birthday. After all the fun stuff we sat through an hour of tradition belly dancing, etc and then home to the hotel.
 
I had received a note the day before to go to reception. As it is my birthday they will give me a cake at dinner time. We get changed and have a late dinner in the main restaurant not realising that it closed at 9pm, it was 8.45...anyway they still let us in. We were the last people in when the bought out the cake. For some reason they picked up Ellie and started dancing around the tables with her and the cake…it was when they started singing happy birthday to her that we realised they thought it was her birthday! It was so funny. We eventually made it clear it was MY birthday, Ellie and I blew out the candles together.
 
We were all shattered from the days activities, Claire and El had an early night but Alaa, J and I went to the Aladdin hotel, the sister resort next door, and spent a couple of hours there, before calling it a night. I had a fabulous day. It was such an excellent way to a) spend a birthday and b) forget being 40!!! Happy Days….
 
 

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