Sunday, April 18, 2004

Dahab at Night

We supposed to have a nice rest before hiking Mount Sinai. But who could? It's beautiful and romantic, although might get boring in the long run.

Laid Back and Relax in Dahab

Actually there was nothing much to do in Dahab other than swimming, snorkeling and diving. So I really had a relaxed day in Dahab, just strolling along the beach of Red Sea. The most regrettable decision that I made was to not snorkeling today, to save some energy for the Mount Sinai hike later in the night. Eventually I didn't have any energy at all after came back from Mt Sinai.

Herman and Wei Heng at beach front of Dahab

While strolled along Dahab beach, we met Teresa Kwan from Hong Kong. Just imagined can speak Cantonese in Egypt! But she was interesting girl, came to our room a few times just for chatting. One time even wanted to sell us her unused film, as she was returning to Hong Kong soon. But nobody used film camera! Eventually Herman bought from her for EGP 10. She brought us to here, Jays Restaurant, to have a drink. It's very nice atmosphere.

Tour to St Catherine Monastery and Mt Sinai

Since we were unable to go to St Katherine Monastery and Mt Sinai in the morning, so now we had to find a tour to go there at night, and return in the next morning. Amir from Seven Heaven Hotel insisted on EGP 50 per person, although his birthday is same with Wei Heng's birthday. We thought it's a bit expensive, so we asked around for taxi to St Catherine Monastery and Mount Sinai. The lowest we can get was EGP 50 per taxi one way. Quite cheap, but later another staff in Seven Heaven Hotel quoted us EGP 40, which pretty much the standard price, but we just booked the tour with the hotel.

A Lot of Great Food

The main benefit of having Sing Wei and Herman as travel mates was that they really liked to eat. Whenever wherever they would also prepared a lot of food. For dinner and lunch, you can be assured that it's the most delicious and full meal if following them, just like the lunch we had in Dahab.

Seven Hotel Hotel

We decided to head to Seven Heaven Hotel at Masbat area which the Korean guy Park Jang Tae introduced to us instead of staying with same hotel with Sing Wei and Herman, which located at Mashraba area of Assalah, as it's expensive and a bit far from the beach. It turned out to be a very nice choice. What surprise me was I anticipating a lot of Korean and Japanese in the Seven Heaven Hotel, yet I saw only few, mostly were Western tourists.

Seven Heaven Hotel Reception area on the left, diving area on the right.

Garden Hut as Seven Heaven Hotel called it, costs EGP 10 per night per hut. The hut has 2 beds, area is small but comfortable with fan only.

No Way to Mt Sinai

When we bought the ticket, the clerk told us the bus can reach by 7 am. It's too optimistic. Our bus reached Dahab only at 11 am. By then, our plan to go straight to Mt Sinai (Gebel Musa) was no longer viable as the bus to St. Katherine's Monastery had departed. We were a bit at a lost now. Lonely Planet said there supposed to be service taxi, but none in sight. I not even sure if we were at bus station. Finally we followed the guide that came to pick up Sing Wei and Herman (yes, they're still on the tour that they booked in Cairo), and took the local bus to Dahab's Assalah, where most budget hotels located, for EGP 1 each.

Beautiful Sinai from the Bus

I able to had a glance of Sinai from the bus before arrived at Dahab as the sun had rose.

Before Sharm el-Sheikh, road in Sinai runs along Red Sea Gulf of Suez

Sinai row upon serried row of barren, jagged, red-brown mountains

Beautiful Sinai mountains and desert plains

Big board announcing arrival in Dahab. This is the junction that leads to Dahab.

Bus Ride from Luxor to Dahab

The bus eventually reached Dahab after 17 hours after departing from Luxor. About an hour earlier almost all passengers on the bus had alighted at Sharm el-Sheikh. The bus air-conditioning was not very cold, and I can felt I was sweating when the sun appeared again. At night, the bus made a stop at shop house. This was the only stop I was aware of, as other time I mostly fell deep in sleep. The problem with this shop house was it's completely dark, without electricity. Only candle was scarce until the whole toilet was lit up with 1 faint candle only. It was quite scary experience. Nevertheless, this was the longest bus trip that I took so far in my life.