We arrived back at Whitelees at about 3 this morning. Henry and I made the best time ever from Birmingham airport (not one we normally use) to home. Julio our cat, who is always a bit of a drama queen was acting like he was starving TO DEATH, actually dying of hunger. We knew that he was merely thrilled to see us, which is why he yowled for ages. My friend Helen has been feeding Julio while we were away and he does look a bit plumper.
I've got a stinking cold. I put the blame for this cold squarely on the shoulders of the infected monsters on our outbound flight. There was loads of coughing and sniffling happening on the way to Egypt. We did load ourselves up with vitamin C and echinacea, but we got colds anyway.
We arrived at sunset on Wednesday the 19th. As the plane doors opened and I could hear the call to prayer on the warm breeze. We're back in Egypt! Woo hoo!
There have been a few improvements at the airport in Sharm el Sheikh since we were there last summer and we found there was much less hassle in getting a trolley for luggage. Private taxis are still a pain in the neck, bartering for the best price. The taxi drivers assume that everyone will not know what is what and they'll overcharge ruthlessly. Good tip is to double check the price BEFORE the taxi leaves the airport and that the price quoted is for everybody and not just "per person". We hauled all our bags back out of our first taxi when the price changed from a normal price to the hotel to that price for each person.
The hotel we stayed at this week was the Golden Sharm hotel. Lovely! Everything was clean, the staff was helpful without seeming mercenary, everything worked and the food was nice.
This is The Man of the Place, waiting for the mini-van to collect us and all our gear and take us to the dive centre.
The view of the Sinai mountains from the front of the hotel.We used Camel Dive this year. I was impressed with their efficiency and attention to safety. We dove on the house reef on the first day so that they could assess our diving skills before setting us out on a less sheltered dive.
So to start things off, I'm posting a few of the photos from our first two dives off the house reef.
There is a fringing reef all along the beach in Sharm el Sheikh. To protect the coral reef but still allow people to have access to the water, floating jetties have been built. We can safely walk out to the edge of the coral without damaging it. I must say that if you have all your diving gear on, walking out on the floating jetty is a bit wobbly. Thankfully there are no photographs of me doing THAT!
These are two Red Sea Bannerfish that posed for me on my second dive. When the wildlife poses like this, it's hard to take a duff photo.