Week 1 - Stormy weather and a bit of diving

Dahab Travel Blog

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People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Matt (America)

Dahab was a place i had heard a lot about, long before i stepped foot into Egypt. A divers paradise, with facilities to cater for all budgets, it has fast developed into one of Egypt's premier tourist destinations. Sadly the government has done little to monitor this rapid progression from fishing village into tourist resort, and the longer you spend here, the more you realise that Dahab is in trouble.

Factors which are ruining Dahabs underwater beauty include the following;

  • 50 dive shop operators: The reefs are suffering from inexperienced and uncaring divers and instructors treading on the corals
  • Countless fish restaurants: The fishermen are overfishing the sea.
    Fish stocks are way down on a few years ago
  • Dozens of hotels by the shore: They are pumping their waste into the sea

Regardless of these factors, Dahab is certainly the kind of place where you can kick back and relax, which is what we had planned to do for the next few weeks. As always, our first mission was to find a hotel and we decided to go with a tout for Bedioun Lodge/Auski Camp, who also managed to get us a taxi for 5EGP ($0.90), for the 3km trip into town. The rooms were really good value, only 25EGP ($4.50) per night for a double room with fan and located in the heart of the town.

Once we had checked in and showered away the sand that we had accrued in every edificice during the Nuweiba sand storm, we went out to have Dinner.
The plan was to grab some food and then meet American couchsurfer Matt, but by a complete stroke of luck, we bumped into him at the place where we stopped to eat! After tucking into some schwarma's and falafels, we went to Yalla Bar, where we spent the evening chatting over a couple of Sakara beers

Tuesday was a boring day, spent visiting dive shops, and finding out what were the best deals on offer. In the end we settled on Bedouin divers, who charged Julia 175Euro ($238) to do the Advanced Open Water course and an additional 15 Euro ($20) per dive, which wasn't bad at all. In the evening we returned to Yalla bar to watch Arsenal 1-3 Man United in the second leg of the Champions League Final, which was a disappointment to me.

On Wednesday we opted to spend the day relaxing and contacting Chinese schools on the internet, seeing if we could land ourselves a couple of teaching jobs over there.
It was good that we had free wi-fi in our hotel, as it esentially paid for our room! In the evening we went and watched Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, with Barca scoring a last minute equaliser which sent them through on away goals. It was incredibly harsh on Chelsea and the players almost killed the referee at the end, as he had made so many bad decisions!

The following day we got to do our refresher dive at 'The Lighthouse', which wasn't the best site in the World, as it is the most dived site and has a partial sand bottom. On the plus side there were some nice corals and we saw a huge Napoleon Wrasse, which was the first time i had ever seen one. Other fish of note included a Blue Triggerfish, Anemone Fish (Nemo), Porcupine Pufferfish, Glassfish and Short Nose Unicorn fish.
It was a pretty comfortable introductory dive, which was fine by me, although our instructor Rose seemed to have something against underwater photography and kept rushing off without giving me the chance to take many pictures.

The afternoon was once again spent job hunting and then we went out for Dinner with Matt and a couple of other couchsurfers, who he was hosting. Whilst the Dinner tasted pretty good at the time, it ended up keeping me awake all night, making mad dashes for the toilet!

I was pretty exhausted on Friday morning and to add to my stomach ache, i also had a back ache, which i think came from been overweighted on the previous days dive. As Julia was taking her navigation dive, which is outright boring, i skipped the morning dive and stayed in bed.
During the day we visited our two favourite restaurants, which were 'Bedouin Divers' for their breakfast and 'Quickly' for everythng else! Particularly good at 'Quickly 'was their pancakes with ice cream and fruit, yummmmmy.

On Saturday my back still wasn't great and Julia had also come down with a stomach bug, so diving was sadly off the agenda once again. I spent much of the day sat in redseadivers/Churchill bar having a beer and watching the Premier League games on TV. Sunday followed a similar pattern, and the weather was once again overcast and windy, so our first week really didn't turn out as planned.
portia says:
Oh, OK, so you can use it to get online, that's at least useful.
Posted on: May 12, 2009
Deats says:
There are basically no blogs to catch up with as i didnt fix it! People kept promising me they could and then never been able to. Thankfully my internet works, but i cant work in word. Im just going to wait until we get to China/Russia or england. Which should not be that long now!
Posted on: May 12, 2009
portia says:
sorry haven't kept up with all your blogs lately, did you get the laptop fixed?
Posted on: May 12, 2009
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photo by: TamaraSimons