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Aiden’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 25 Dec 2007

Location: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

MapBack to the program. Sorry about the delay.

We stopped at a restaurant beside the beach realising that this is why Sharm El Sheikh is the Gold Coast of Egypt. Foreigners everywhere, a;; ready to spend money at the 700,000 5 star resorts. So after a quick this quick lunch stop with a cheeky beer whilst looking out over the cliffs barriering the Red Sea, we departed in search of accommodation.

Our search was in vain.

Nada. Not a guest house, cot, or crib. Jesus himself would have gone astray. A team meeting and an even quicker phone call, we set off the Dahab. A scuba town about 1 and 1/2 hour from Sharm El Sheikh. The phone call was to Osama (yes, the same one, you idiots) who ran the AUSKI hostel.
AUS = Australia
KI = Kiwi NZ
How could we go wrong??
Lke all good Australian affiliated products, the place we stayed was awesome, with the right price.
Dahab was a gorgeous town like the little sister of Sharm, it is not as famous, however this means less tourists - still avoid of (too many) 5 star resorts, however expansion is well on the way.
A quick chat to Osama, and we were in our rooms, with scuba booked. Dinner and shisha soon followed plus a little walk around the coastline shops to feel the serenity and practice the haggling skills.
I really liked Dahab. The feel of the place was very different to Sharm and though i didnt stay for long, i think i would still prefer Dahab more. Oh, and the reef was fantastic.
The first dive I felt was to check our skills and the second dive was feeling like a whole different world altogether.
Loads of fish (lion, goat, clown, scorpion etc ) plus a couple of octopus.
After such a great experience, we headed out to find a bar. However, all were really dead, so there really isnt much to write home about. EXCEPT, we found ourselves playing football in the street with some of the local kids. Obviously not really intense but still a pretty good feeling.You could wipe the smile off my face... or find it in the bottom of a beer glass in a foreigner dominanted pub/club.
The next morning we had organised a quad biking experience through the desert.... after talking to Rula (a previous quad bike expert) i had high expectations. It was an awesome experience, with some breathtaking views and quirky oasis' in the middle of nowhere... but I was expecting a little more... Thanks Rula.
A little more regulated then I had hoped.. (probably a good thing so we didnt kill ourselves.
The drive back to Cairo was quick, due the major exploration of the back of my eyelids.

Alright, major site time - PYRIMIDS/SAKARA/MEMPHIS.

These expeditions did not disappoint. Riding on top of camels being guided around 2 HUGE, gargantuent constructions dedicated to the king... (actually i am informed there are 9 in total).
EPIC is the olnly was to describe it. Such power, control and dominance screams from the two pyrimids. Noone knows how the pyrimids were built, as the people commissioned to built were executed... bloody Egyptians.
There was only one disappointing part... the graffiti and rubbish was everywhere to be seen. And of course the beggers. Upon entry the security guard permitting entry put out his hand and said 'pen, pen.' I probably would have given if I had one this particualr time but a lass, id did not possess.

I wont labor too long on the rest of Egypt as I am running of of adjectives to give all the places.. and the photos speak for themselves. The Citadel was fantastically beautiful, Mohammed Ali Castle was also in prime position next to the mosque. The mosque had quite a view of Cairo. Almost the entire Cairo. Egyptian museum also lived up to expectations, however after seeing the artifacts in there original positions in the pyrimids, it almost.. i said 'almost' was a little disappointing. However the mummies on display of the Kings and Queens were certainly a sight to be seen. I wish I knew more about ancient Egyptian history as to really appreciate the pieces that were there. Oh well.

Dropping into Khan El Khalily (shit, is that right?) I actually like the haggling in the shops and wasnt happy when the shopkeepers didnt want to play themselves.... good fun, and great people.

Oh and yes i got a Shisha. Boooyaaah. Goodbye elastic recoil of lung tissue.

Driving to the airport having said the short term good byes to Jimmy and Tony, I was sorry to see Egypt go as I was getting use to the ways things were run there.
As I was about to hop on the plane to Kenya, i passed an Arabian girl covered from head to toe in a burka. She seemed to be staring at me, so I flicked her a quick smile, to see her reaction.
What followed was one of the largest, most beautiful smiles i have ever seen. i thought to myself... 'thats a nice way to finish Egypt.'

Off to vote in the Kenya election.