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April 26th 2010
Published: May 1st 2010
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We loved Dahab so much that we decided to head back there. From Luxor, the cheapest way to reach Dahab was by bus, and it was one of the most painful journeys we have ever done.

Luckily we were not alone on the bus ride, we met a lovely couple from NZ, Kieren and Laura who were also catching the bus to Dahab. The bus itself was ok, if not a little smelly and cramped but it did have air conditioning. We left at 4.30pm and it was a hell of a trip, more than 19 hours, we did not arrive in Dahab until lunchtime the following day. It was really frustrating, the bus stopped every hour or so for over 30 minutes at a time. All night we had to listen to various recitals from the Quran, on repeat. What made it particularly slow was all the check points along the way, not that that the security checked anything.

When the bus arrived at Sharm, only a few people were continuing to Dahab so they moved us onto another bus, it was leaking fuel and the inside of the bus was filthy - how we did not die from carbon monoxide poisoning I will never know. The bus was falling apart, there was crap all over the windows (it looked like oil) and it was driven at 130km per hour by the driver who had a cigarette in his mouth continuously for the whole one and a half hour journey (not this that was unusual, cigarettes here are only 3 EP, less than $1 and the Egyptians chain smoke as a result). There were at least 3 check points between Sharm and Dahab where we had to show our passports. When we got off the bus, being the only foreigners, we were surrounded by taxi touts and our bags were covered in leaking diesel. At this stage we were beyond being annoyed, there was no point because no-one cares. At least we can relax in the chilled out town of Dahab.

We have had a brilliant time in Dahab and it was great to hang out with some people from home. We had a fun time at quiz night on our first night here. Unfortunately the kiwi team was unsuccessful (in fact we lost) but there was only a couple of points in it but this was thanks to Laura and Kieren, our contribution was pretty negligible.

The highlight was that we decided to do our PADI Open Water Diving Course and we can happily say that we are now qualified open water divers and can dive to 18m. We went through a dive centre called Big Blue who we had a trial dive with a couple of weeks ago. We were really impressed with them so thought we would give them another go. I was quite apprehensive, I am not that confident in the water and was worried about breathing underwater and some of the skills that were required. Our instructor, Ibraham was fantastic, patient and gave us plenty of confidence. Natalie from France also helped out, she was training for her master dive course. They were both great and really friendly. There was only one other guy on the course, Romain also from France, so we had plenty of attention from the instructors and plenty of time to practice and perfect the skills.

Matt was always going to enjoy the diving but I was surprised at how much I loved it and look forward to doing more. The world that opens up under the water is truly amazing. On day 3 we headed to another dive sight called Moray Gardens, an absolutely beautiful spot, where we dived to 18m. We saw puffer fish, lion fish, parrot fish, clams and beautiful coral.

On our final day in Dahab we decided to do one final dive at a famous dive site known as the Canyon which is a big crack in the rock, near the Blue Hole dive site. It is one of Dahab’s most famous dive sites. This time though, we did an adventure dive, down to 30m. There was no-one else there and we had the whole place to ourselves. It was amazing, we saw a snake, moray eel, lionfish, huge parrotfish, blue triggerfish, octopus and a huge napoleon fish. The water was really clear and while we were in the canyon a big school of fish came down to feed. When we went to the top of the canyon, you could see all our air bubbles seeping through the rock like a chimney. It was fantastic, if only we had more time……

Next stop, back on the horrible bus back to Cairo to sort out our visas for Sudan.

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