Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
273Trip End Oct 08, 2008
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We decided to go to Nuweiba to catch an earlier bus to Taba so we could get to Jerusalem before dark. The bus from Dahab to Taba doesn't leave until 10:30, you see, and that would leave us to catch the late bus, assuming questioning at the border. It's rather notorious on the Israeli side, especially if you have odd passport stuff - like a million stamps, for example.
Soft Beach Camp had been recommended to us by one of our Mt. Sinai buddies as well as the LP, so we decided to go for it. We took an afternoon bus from Dahab up to Nuweiba - in so doing we refused a chartered van that would have dropped us off wherever we liked, but which was a bit more expensive and left earlier
Soft Beach is a lovely little spot covering a sandy beach. The main lounge-restaurant is central and shady and the rooms are individual huts spread over the grounds. All in all it's pretty cute.
Before check-in we got a welcome drink - one of the best inventions ever (probably tasted best in Damai Beach when we visited there...) as it is cool and refreshing and often would cost a good five dollars if you had to buy it. Unfortunately, it also often comes before talk of pricing and whatnot. Well, whatever, we had the LP estimates and this super cheap traveller's recommendation, so it couldn't be that bad, right? Ha. We ended up in a hut (cute, I will admit) with a lumpy cushion bed (not a foam mat) and no fan. It's seriously hot in Egypt, in case you didn't get that from our other writing. Night can be unbearable without a fan. Ergo, we had to leave the windows open, meaning that pretty much anyone could reach in and take stuff or see us in states of dishabille (which I didn't really care about since I'd gotten to the point that I only wanted to be less hot)
I also cannot understand why these places charge by the person. We were told the room was 30 pounds...for one person (including breakfast). Double that for two. Now, I know that double rooms cost more than single rooms, but charging by the person just doesn't seem right in these circumstances. Yet another weird Egyptian monatery thing. Well, without breakfast we'd pay 40 pounds for the two of us. As we sat in our hut on the ground on our lumpy cushion, I said, "Why did we leave our comfortable 20 pound a night room with real beds for this?" Travis didn't know either.
Lounging on the beach was lovely, though. Travis finally got all worn out (it only took 9 months, as opposed to my 5) and definitely appreciated not having to do anything. I read a biography of Indira Gandhi and Travis read two novels. We splashed about the warm Red Sea water and contemplated Saudi Arabia while sipping fresh fruit juices. The sand got really hot and we hopped around trying not to burn our toesies. The atmosphere at this location, as opposed to Dahab, was relaxed and isolated. The staff was friendly and obliging, and I revelled in the fact that I didn't have to do much more than talk to someone and dinner would appear. No wandering the streets for food, no grocery store jumble meals.
Maybe if we'd been more savvy or had a little more money we'd have gotten a foam mat (I saw one in another hut with an open window), but aside from the price of the room and lumpy cushion, Nuweiba was a lovely break from Egypt and planning. And a lovely break before pressing onward to Israel.