Here’s the rest of the summary for Egypt. I promise to post a more interesting blog for Jordan and Syria.
Day 12 Con’t: Sandra changed her mind not diving for the day. I am pushing to get my Advanced PADI before Saturday since there will be a scheduled boat going to Thistlegorm and Rasmuhamad National Park. I need my Advanced to be able to dive there. Darren from Australia who is taking his Advanced with me and I got our equiptment ready, got in the truck with Sandra and dove the Island. Amazing. Red Sea!! Saw manta ray.
Day 13: Got up at 7AM to dive by 730. That didn’t quite go as planned. Dove the Canyon and the famous Blue Hole a bit later. Great day to dive. There was a Free Diving Competition at the Blue Hole. While we were doing our safety stop, we watched the free divers go down deeper than our eyes could see. The winner went down to 120meters. The way they dive is so elegant and beautiful in the water. At night, I went for a night dive. Sandra took us to the Light House. I love diving at night. Life is different down under at night
Day 14: It was Friday, woke up a bit later. Scheduled to do my last dive to finish my Advanced. Did my underwater navigation test. Passed with flying colors. Now I can dive by myself without a guide. At night, we had dinner. Great bargain, we found a restaurant that serves fresh fish for 20EP. Score. Later, we met up with the rest of the people who are going to Thistlegorm and Rasmuhamad National Park. The security held us for a bit since we didn’t have our passport. After our dive master gave him some baksheesh, they let us go. We got in our boat with bunch of Russians. We camped on top of the boat. What a lovely night. Millions of stars above us!
Day 15: Dove Thistlegorm. First dive around the sunken British fleet. Saw Reef Sharks. Finally dove with sharks, and my first wreck dive ever. Amazing! Second dive inside the ship. Third dive was in Rasmmuhamad National Park. What a beautiful garden. Best that I have seen yet. I am quite happy diving the Red Sea. After we got off the boat, we walked around Sharm el-Shek. The town is full of tourist. Got back in Dahab by midnight.
Day 16: Hung out and didn’t do anything. Too tired from diving. Again, life is hard.
Day 17: Went swimming with Mary Anne around the Light House. Kris got us invited to go to Caleb’s (one of the diving instructor) house for a BBQ. Nice to go to a houseparty. We had many laughs at the party.
Day 18: Went swimming with Mary Anne on an inflatable dinghy. Swam and dragged Mary Anne on a dinghy for a bit until we reached Clodagh (girl from Ireland) who is sunbathing at the Lighthouse.
Day 19: Went with Mary Anne to the Lagoon. We wanted to try windsurfing. Unfortunately, windsurfing is beyond our budget. We tried bargaining for a kayak. That didn’t work. We got kicked out using the Hilton’s infinity pool. We swam and walked back to our hotel where we saw Kris lounging where we left him five hours ago. At night, we went out for our last dinner in Dahab.
Day 20: Took an hour nap before our scheduled taxi pick up. Woke up Mary Anne (my roomate) and said my good bye. I will see her again in India. Said bye to Olivia who was suppose to go with us to Jordan. But plans changed and she took a job at the dive shop. Taxi picked me, Kris, and Greg (from UK) at 5AM. We arrived in Taba, Egypt at 6AM for Aquaba, Jordan.
Egypt… it’s an interesting place with so much history. You can spend as much time looking at temples, burial sites, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo… or float along the nile in a felluca under millions of stars. You can also hike where Mosses received the 10th commandment at sunrise.. and dive and discover life under the Red Sea.. Or if you are looking for a hangout.. Dahab is the place to be. The people that I met in Egypt made my travels so much more interesting. I had many laughs with other travelers while in Egypt. As much as a I want to meet locals, meeting other travelers is as meaningful. Traveling with people is very intimate. I always love meeting people with a story to tell. And while traveling, your lifestory is told within a days, or two weeks, or as long as you are traveling or hanging out together. I can truly say I made new friends while in Egypt.
I left Jordan yesterday. I promise to post a more interesting blog for Jordan. I heart Jordan!!! I arrived in Syria late last night. It took 4hours at the border for a fax to arrive from Damascuss granting me my visa. Yes, I tried entering Syria without a visa. It all worked out. I’ll post some photos soon!