Sauna, steam room, swimming, quad biking, shopping,
Dahab Travel Blog› entry 8 of 9 › view all entries
April 15th, 2009 – by: Transitory
The waitstaff served us coffee "Americano" and tea. Their uniforms were impeccable and they were quick and efficient. They pulled out seats for us and rushed to open doors. I was slightly embarrassed at the efforts, they were used to an upper class clientele of European and American resort tourists...at the same time I could get used to the treatment ;)
Then I went inside to help myself. There was an omelet station, a large assortment of fruits, salads, mackerel (?) fish, fresh loaves of breads and rolls, delectable glazed pastries.
I actually exercised some self-control and started with fruit salad, then salads, then fish for the protein. The food was delicious but there were quite a few flies about! I think I got more exercise swatting away flies then all the walking that was done :).
After breakfast, well brunch, we walked around the beautiful grounds, digesting. Ann went back to the room to nap, and I went down the stairs to the private beach and lay on a chaise lounge. I put on my Ipod and fell asleep in the sun.
I woke up with a tan, and ran up the stairs to the pool area. Then I took a dip in the saline water pool, floating on my back. The salt water stung my eyes, I had forgotten to carry goggles. Swimming and floating was followed by switches to the steam room, and sauna. Whenever I got cold in the water, I switched back and forth, back and forth.
Around 4PM, we got ready to go into the town center. Since our hotel was out of the way, we had to hire a car from the hotel instead of a cheaper taxi. It cost 25EGP.
When we got into town, a few sellers tried to get us to go into their store but we put on our Ipods to drown out the world of commerce. At this point, each of us was worn by the aggressive nature of [some] sellers.
Along the boardwalk we walked, making our way around more sellers, men inviting us into restaurants, irritated tourists, around donkeys, and the occasional vomit puddle from people partying the night before. There were many people relaxing in the waterfront restaurants, some in their dive gear or bathing suits.
Eventually we made our way back to Sam's Quad bikes near the Dahab pool under the bridge for our sunset tour of Dahab by quadbike. We were fitted for our helmets, given some basic instructions, and I was put third in line, behind the tour leader, and behind a man with his son.
We drove through traffic, "Yala, yala" the tour leader would call out, and signal with his hands the turns we were taking, or to slow down, or to speed up.
We were on the highway or road, passing through the town, passing pickup trucks loaded with Egyptian men on their way to work outside of the city. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous, though I didn't have the best handle of the quad bike whether crossing the road or changing directions, and there were bumps in the road.
Down the dusty road, past new construction, past derelict buildings, we finally got to an empty stretch of road, and then we entered the sea side area set aside for recreational activities. There were camel droppings and rocks everywhere but we persisted driving on the sandy path.
At the sight of the water, the waves that licked the sand, the delicate splashes of foam on the ground, I began drifting towards it, not consciously steering towards it. Off the small sand dune I went, and drove to the water's edge. All the other riders were zipping past, one called out that they would get the tour leader, while Ann waited on me, laughingly asking "How the fuck did you manage that? Did you do that on purpose?"
The tour leader came to me, pumping the pedal, telling me to pull a switch, he had the bike accelerating over the slight dune in no time, with me nearly falling off the bike too!
Racing around to catch up, Ann also drove off course! Ahh women drivers ;) just kidding, it happened to a few of us, the men too.
After some shopping and major haggling, and joking around, which included telling merchants we were from Easter Island or Japan or Philippines, and whatever else came to mind during the constant question of "Where are you from?" I picked up some hookah tobacco flavors and a couple of cheesy t-shirts that said Dahab on them with the map of the Sinai Peninsula from a seller who teased that I was like his wife before he married her, skinny, and that Anny was like his wife after he married her, whom was a few months pregnant! Cheeky bastard :).
Exiting the town area, we checked around for the sleazy driver from the night before. We wanted to make sure he was going to come pick us up at 1AM like we planned the previous nightto take us to Mt. Sinai. He would turn out to be a very shady guy who tried to cheat us a few times but that's for the next entry...
Around 6 men swarmed around us, asking us if we needed a driver, I was frustrated and called out "Too, MANY, people, BACK OFF." (I know how very Girl Interrupted of me). They did, and we haggled for a taxi back to our hotel. We walked around the grounds of the beautiful Le Meredien.
We declined, instead went to exchange money, pay off open tabs, and went back to the room to pack and shower. Ann went to jog around on her own, while I fell asleep.
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