No sand, no Nemo

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Africa » Egypt » Red Sea » Hurghada
January 22nd 2006
Published: February 24th 2006
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After the fairly rough tourist centre of Luxor we were quite pleased reach the UK winter escape destination of Hurghada. After checking into Al Gizera we booked in for a diving trip the next day. Even thought it was windy and a bit cold, the Red Sea was apparently still 22 degrees, which is not too bad.

The men in Hurghada were obviously a bit more sophisticated in sales, I even heard one attempt at “bridging to a sale” (for those that haven’t worked for Telecom bridging is a fairly self explanatory sales technique where you establish a customers needs and then use them to bridge to a solution). After a shopping trip to buy fruit we were all walking along with our tour guide Sean leading us and he was greeted with “My friend, all your friends have fruit? Why you have not fruit? You need to go you Cairo”. The obvious solution.

Diving was fun, saws lots of colourful fish and coral, though the less than tropical water did mean that I was grateful for my full body wetsuit. Still didn’t find Nemo - though apparently Lara did. Not that I am sure about this because her
The Red seaThe Red seaThe Red sea

Not red, but still nice
friends confessed to me that she has issues with colour, and had previously described Nemo as being yellow and blue. We did also see some (rather distant) dolphins.

In the evening we decided to hit the Hurghada Ministry of Sound. We paid our £50 (£5 British) entry fee and headed off. The highlight of a club was that it had sunken spa-like couches. But after an hour of sitting in one and not much else happening we began to get a bit sleepy. The Brazilian girls pointed out that there was not much happening to the bar tender who had been accosting us since we arrived (and I wouldn’t talk to him and got the “Why you not smile? You angry! Why you so angry?” line again). He defended the bar, and so they pointed out that they were hardly getting their £50 worth… to which he said that entrance to the bar was free. There was a bit of suspicion, but as the conversation progressed we found out that there was actually another bar called “The Ministry of Sound Bar” rather than “The Ministry of Sound Beach” which did have a £50 entrance fee. Our poor tour guide
Lara, Bettina & I Lara, Bettina & I Lara, Bettina & I

About to dive
was mortified, and by this time it was 1am so we decided we would all head home and use our tickets the next night.

After a day trying to sunbathe in cyclone like conditions on a non-sandy beach (in a country almost entirely covered in sand there is none at the beach, how rare!) we headed off to the correct bar. I was a bit off-put by the notice that said “No singles” and thought that it was some bad translation. Turned out that it actually meant no single people were allowed entrance! Not that they minded single women… bit strange though. What exactly do they think people do at bars? This place was pretty quiet as well, but it did have dancing girls and we did get some free drinks for our entrance fee.

Saturday it was time to join the convoy and head back to Cairo. After 12 days of being treated like a proverbial whore I was pleased to be heading home. Our poor tour guide came down with a violent stomach upset, which was a bit unfortunate particularly when it comes to facing a 5 hour drive in a van that got steadily more

Lada taxi
crowded. As it turned out for the 5 people in the tour it was not enough to have a tour guide and two drivers, but we also needed a local guide and a policeman to accompany us on the trip to Cairo. I think they just wanted a free ride to the city!


6th December 2006

Ministry of Sound: What A Let Down!
Hi I have to agree about how awful Ministry of Sound is in Egypt. Not a shadow of the English version, was thoroughly disappionted. Music was poor, there was hardly any one there and the people that are inside are either in there 40's or harass you all night, my friend was actually punched by one guy and they only had one bouncer who was powerless to do anything about it, not advisable for a country that has experienced a recent bombing targeting the leisure industry. The whole thing is a sham i cant believe Ministry of Sound would put their name to it.

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