Of breathtaking corals, colorful fishies, and sparkling clear waters of the sea!
Sharm El Sheikh Travel Blog› entry 15 of 20 › view all entries
April 16th, 2010 – by: anupa_rk
A couple of things took me by surprise. I had been snorkeling before in the Bahamas, and so I kinda thought I knew what the deal was about. But before we had set out, S had insisted that we carry our own gear. I didn’t think we needed to. After all, we were going on a snorkeling tour with a professional company.
Apparently, the tour involved just the transportation and the food. There was a guide, but he spent all his time flirting with a group of Russian girls who were along for the ride. Before starting off, he didn’t mention that we needed to be carrying our own equipment. He didn’t mention that non swimmers were almost not welcome! He didn’t mention that he wouldn’t be providing life jackets or rings when needed. He didn’t mention that he wont be around…pointing out the various fish and corals when we jumped into the water.
He told us that the first jump would be in the deep waters. And so anyone who was not a good swimmer was not to come along on that. Mighty unfair, if you ask me. Since we all paid for all three jumps. Anyways, I of course considered myself a fair swimmer, and so, decided to go for it.
I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t been in the ocean for over a year. I hadn’t realized that it was the frikking ocean – not a swimming pool!!! I knew I wouldn’t drown or anything. I wasn’t that bad :D .. But once we jumped in, he barely gave me any time to get my body used to the feel of the water and the waves. And then he claimed that we needed to be swimming for atleast half an hour to get to the corals..
In retrospect, I think I could’ve made it. With some time… But right there, with him urging the group on.. yelling away like an army drill master, I decided not to do it. I swam back to the boat. Later I felt miserable and thought that I should’ve just asked him to shut his trap and give me some time. But well, what was done was done.
And so, that was one opportunity lost.
At the second site, I decided to make the most of the chance. The water was calmer. And I had decided to jump in no matter what. S, the non swimmer, was given a life jacket (after much yelling on his part). And so he jumped in too. The water felt awesome. And the view was fabulous. I swam around a bit and then realized that S was just stuck in one position. He had the life jacket. But he wasn’t able to move around. And then after a while, I saw him swishing around in the deep waters far away from the boat! I got a little worried. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to pull him back to the boat. And the current kept pulling him further away.
I had had a quick peek at the corals and they were really lovely. I wanted him to be able to have a look since he had never had this experience before.
Amidst all this, the guide suddenly blew the whistle and signaled for everyone to get back on the boat. Time was up! This was insane.. I had only had a small peek!!!! I protested, but was almost physically dragged out of the water :D ..
And then the guide took a ring and went to fetch S. And what do I see? Before bringing him back to the boat, the guide gives him a nice long look at the corals!!!! I was fuming!!! :D
On the next jump I warned S that he was on his own.
Half an hour in the water and then we were all dragged back to the boat to be taken back ashore. All in all, a reasonably nice trip.
We were dropped off in the Naama Bay main market area, which I wanted to explore. But then it felt so touristy and so commercialized, that after a few minutes I had had enough. I am not into touristy shopping anyway, so there was nothing much to do. We called our taxi driver friend and decided to kill some time at a local coffee joint. Complete with sit down (as in, on the floor!) décor, and Egyptian music playing in the background, it was what I would consider – an ideal coffee shop in Egypt!
Oh, there is something of great importance that I have not yet mentioned here (or have I?!).
Like I said, coffee shops are the in thing in Egypt and I really loved the concept. But what I loved even more was the coffee that was served in these coffee shops. Specifically – Turkish Coffee.
This marvelous invention had me swooning from the first time I tasted it! And ever since it first passed my lips, it had me addicted. I was at a stage where I was having 5-6 cups every day. Its no surprise that I hardly slept well while I was there!
So, at Naama Bay, we ordered sveral rounds of the heavenly concoction, and a sheesha. The sheesha I just loved for the cool factor, I think. I mean, the whole image of sitting down on mats.. drinking ahwa (I think thats whats the Egyptians call Turkish coffee), and smoking a sheesha – its just “cool”, you know?! :D
After a while there we decided it was time to head back homewards.
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