More beach time, and Shisha.

Naama Bay Travel Blog

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Hello All,
Today was another relaxation day. I figured out that I should be able to get to Tel Aviv without any problem tomorrow, so that leaves me another day relaxing in the beach/shopping mall known as Na'ama Bay.

The beach at Na'ama Bay is a beautiful one. There's a lot of soft sand, European tourists, watersports rentals, and diving boats. A common sight is to see scuba divers walking directly into the water from the beach. I have yet to dive in this way, but it looked very interesting. I do want to give this method a try because it looks easier then the boat diving method. I think I've heard that Bonaire or Curacao has alot of beautiful reefs near the shore, so maybe a trip there in the future.

For the evening I ate at the hotel's restaurant. They had a deal that night, so I got a kilo of these tasty looking small crab. There were five of them, and they were the most difficult things I've ever had to eat. There was no 'crab cracker' to make getting into the shells easier, and the shells were some spiky little buggers. I managed to get though three of them before I gave up and just ate the best bts from the last two. I was a slimy, smelly, crabby disaster by the time I got done. Shower time.

I had told myself that I had to try shisha before I left, and tonight was my last chance. Shisha is more commonly known in the U.S. as hookah. They are three foot tall water pipes used for smoking a variety of flavored tobaccos. I set up camp at a pretty popular cafe on a main street in Na'ama Bay and ordered a fruit juice, and an apple flavored shisha. The people watching was very good. The weather was brisk, and it was jacket weather for most of the locals. I brought my fleece along, but didn't wear it once taking up position in the cafe.

Earlier in the day I did some souvenier shopping, and most of the people I talked to in my wandering were amazed at how many russian tourist there were. Any mention of it, and most locals would go off on a long rant about how much the russians are disliked in the area. I found out later that Egypt is one of the few places russian tourists can travel to without getting an advance visa, so I guess that explains part of it. Maybe most russians that come here have not travelled alot, so they haven't developed the niceties that most shop and restaurant owners would prefer. I'm not really sure, but it is really strange to think how their reputation has come to be besmirched here.

After sitting for about an hour a henna tattoo artist came up to me offering his wares. His name was Tom, and I gathered he was a Coptic Christian by the cross around his neck. I don't have any tattoos, and I thought it might be an interesting experience so I went ahead with it. I chose a design of Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead. Tom said he would throw in my name in Arabic as well. It took just a few minutes, but Tom and I started talking about many different things afterwards.

I was, according to Tom, only the seventh American he had met in three years in Sharm. I guess it makes sense. What American has even heard of the place? A few more of his friends stopped by to chat along the way, and I ended up giving a few hours of English language lessons. Apparently, most Egyptians find American English much easier to understand then the British version, and they were dying to hear me pronounce as many words as possible. The coversation was excellent and covered many subjects. It's always very interesting to get past the 'salesman' exterior and really talk to people.

By the time I was done with two shishas and talking my brains out, I had been there for about three hours. It was a good night.

Tomorrow morning I begin my trip home.

Later, Phil
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Naama Bay
photo by: czerw_kapturek