Dahab, Hurghada and Diving....  (Egypt)
June 21 to June 27, 2006

It was time to relax a bit.   A few days in Cairo make one feel this way.  I had only a vague idea of where I wanted to go in Egypt, but this one one thing was sure.  I wanted to go diving in the Red Sea.  Dahab seemed to be the low-cost option, so I was on my way.

Interesting that some (but not all) of the foreigners I met in Dahab were convinced that it was not a "tourist town."  Maybe it wasn't compared to Sharm el Sheikh down the peninsula, but clearly tourism was the only business in town.  Either way, it was quite pleasant and relaxing.  I had noticed that in Egypt I had become more willing to deal with other travelers than usual.  I was more willing to be in the relative familiarity that I normally tried to avoid.  Why?  Everyone needs a break sometimes.  Talking to travelers somehow gives me a feeling of "home," even if the travelers are from Holland or New Zealand.  It is a more familiar culture than the native one.  The feel in Dahab was more "resort" than "Egypt," and it was enjoyable.  It was difficult to leave the lifestyle of sitting around all day on cushions and looking out at the sea...

Mt. Sinai?  Who knew that 200 package tourists from Sharm would trudge up the hill at 1:00am to see the sunrise.  It was an overrated tourist mess.  I would have much preferred exploring the area on my own.  The desert mountains were beautiful.  I could have skipped tourist mountain and that place that a couple of monks "recognized" as the site of the burning bush hundreds of years later.   Actually I was in good spirits about it, and really found the whole experience hilarious.

Hurghada seemed a bit more real, for me at least.  For those in the infinite expanse of all-inclusive resorts, well they could be anywhere.  I stayed in a cheap place in the old town and had a great time walking around the streets at night.  It was also on the way to Luxor...

Diving photos....  I don't have a dive camera, but people I went diving with had water housings for their digital cameras.  There might be too many fuzzy photos of fish in this set, but that's the way it goes.  In diving, like hiking the experience and visuals always far outshine the photos.  Get outside!

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July-05-2006 -- 05:47 PM

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