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Published: January 31st 2010
There’s a funny thing about being by the sea. It generally puts people in a good mood. Or perhaps it is because Dahab actually lived up to everyone’s expectations and we were all so happy to be there!
Either way, Dahab was a great place to end our trip. Like others we had met along the way, our only regret was that we hadn’t got there earlier.
Dahab, compared with Sharm and Hurgarda, is essentially low rise in terms of development. The accommodation ranges from very ‘basic’ to ‘pretty damn nice actually’ but there are none of the insanely flashy mega resorts found further down the coast. Compared to Luxor and even Aswan, the mood is relaxed and the locals were much more friendly - we didn't feel like we were viewed as a giant £ walking down the street which was a nice change.
The guidebooks describe it as the ‘Koh Sumi’ of Egypt and yes it does have a similar vibe. This is due to the fact that most of the travellers tend to be younger, travelling independently or in smaller bus tours. The main sea frontage is lined with chilled-out bars and restaurants, complete with
lanterns, cushions and of course; shisha.
Luckily we were in Dahab for New Years Eve and ended up bar and restaurant hopping with a great group of people until 2:30am which was a pretty good effort considering everyone had either done three dives that day or climbed Mt Sinai! It was great to have a mixture of International travellers and loads of locals who had made the trip into ‘town’ to enjoy themselves for the night.
We spent five days in Dahab and we very impressed with the snorkelling. Thankfully the clarity was much better than Aquaba and we got to have a bit of a play with our underwater camera casing. Usually the underwater photos are left up to Chris but since we were able to see so much with a snorkel and mask, I was able to get a few shots this time.
I thought I would have been easy but quickly learnt how difficult it is to photograph fish! They just don’t stay still and the speed of the camera makes it ridiculously difficult! Hence, the many photos of ‘half-fish’ which I took! I have a new found appreciation for snorkelling as the colours
were more beautiful a lot of things we saw during the dives. The reason for this is that the colours disappear the deeper you go so Dahab turned out to be a snorkeling paradise.
The snorkelling on the house reefs was fantastic although I wonder how pristine this reef will be in ten years time with the numbers of people visiting.
Chris did five dives during our stay, one of which was a night dive that was really disappointing. I joined him on three dives, the highlight of which was seeing a turtle swim by on a shore dive about 8 kilometres from Dahab. Definitely the most exciting thing that we’ve ever seen underwater!
Together with our new friends from Holland, we joined the New Years Day snorkel trip to the Blue Hole. Most of the other people on the trip were New Zealanders - it has been quite awhile since I’ve heard the New Zealand accent since each week another Kiwi friend seems to pack up and head home! The Blue Hole
is a pothole in the reef with depths up to 130m! Down at 52 metres there is an archway that many divers have died while
trying to swim underneath.
The trip was run through our hotel, Red Sea Relax by a British lady called Lorriane. She was excellent and treated the snorkel like a divemaster, pointing out and naming all the fish and reef life. The Blue Hole is amazing. Floating on the surface and looking down into the dark blue depths was quite unnerving though. It is a seriously long way down! A few of our other friends who all hold their Advanced certification, dived the Blue Hole and had the most amazing photos of turtles while another group returned ecstatic that they had come across a pod of dolphins. Lucky sods!
Well, apart from diving, snorkelling, eating and sunning, we were spent five pretty lazy days in Dahab. Shamefully, we didn’t visit the coloured canyon or climb Mt Sinai but my upset tummy wouldn’t have made this a particularly pleasant experience anyway.
Perhaps we’ll just need to visit again? Hope so!
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