02 March, 2015

Diving in Dahab I

My first encounter under water - just snorkelling, not even scuba-diving!
Jim pointed upwards ...
Dahab is a far more relaxed and laid-back dive site than Sharm el Sheik, which is also situated in Sinai. Formerly known for pot-smoking and hippies, the place is still easy going and welcoming, teaming with diving activities. "Teaming" might be somewhat exaggerated, by the way, as tourism is still low following the revolution and unrest in the northern part of Sinai. I am sorry on behalf of the locals that live off this industry, but happy for the coral reef, that enjoy a small break from intensive diving.

yep - an elephant submerged
I arrived by night bus from Cairo with my friend Haneen and we settled in the famed Beshi-Beshi camp. The first day we spent snorkelling at the blue hole. Water temperature is at the lowest at this time of the year, but still well above 20 degrees Celcius. The very first thing I bumped into was a huge turtle, which let me swim along until I was out of breath.

A well camouflaged ugly bastard...
… next to a lion fish
Learning to dive before she can swim!
I like it when I get to photograph ...
… the fish facing me!
In our second day, Haneen - who yet do not know how to swim - did a introduction dive with a great guide. He carefully monitored my skills on my first dive before giving me Jim as a buddy and letting us explore the area around the lighthouse. This spot is pretty much in the centre of town, but there were fish everywhere. Nothing big, but nice stuff. The wether was surprisingly much hotter than in Cairo and the wind was still, so we had really good conditions.

In the evening, we paid a modest 100 EGP (barely 13 Euro) per person going on a ATV-safari up in the wadi between the cracked mountains, where dinner were prepared beduin style. Lots of good food under the moon and the stars, and some jolly guides singing songs for us before the return. Very touristic, for sure, but fun and nice, with no stress or hurry to anything. My bike needed a few fixes on the way (leaking gasoline and no head lights), but in this country you can make miracles with a string and a wire.

Dusty after ATV-safari. Mainly me, driving behind ...
Total stress-less!  :o)
 I will tell you more in the next post, this is only to give a taste of what is so easily available, at a very reasonable price.

OK, here's the turtle again:

Still afraid of Egypt? Don't be! I feel as safe here as at home.