I came to Egypt for two things, ancient Egyptian temples/pyramids and diving in the Red sea. The Red sea is renowned for being some of the best diving in the world. Before coming to Egypt I'd taken note of the governments warning and decided that I would go diving in Marsa Alam to the south due to the high chance of seeing giant sea turtles (my favourite animal) and the very slight chance of seeing a Dugong!
After doing some research it looked increasingly unlikely that I would be able to visit due to the lack of backpacker accommodation. The minimum was $20 per night! My whole daily budget!.
So after meeting a number of other backpackers who had either been to Dahab, or were heading to Dahab, I decided I HAD to go to Dahab. In my experience anywhere mentioned more than once by other travellers is worth a visit. So off to Dahab.
I'd just like to mention at this stage that the whole region, except the border area with Israel is stable and completely safe for tourists. If you're looking to go away on a package resort holiday at the moment Egypt has
to be where you're heading. It's cheap and the packages must be incredibly cheap due to the lack of tourists.
It's really strange to drive past resorts that are completely deserted. There's hotels that are completed or nearly there that don't look like anyone has ever been a guest there. The tourism has really suffered since the revolution and that attack in 2013. It's shame, as I mentioned in my first blog you don't think twice about visiting London or Paris.
Dahab was initially discovered by hippies, gradually over time it's changed from a quiet fishing village, into a quiet diving village. Almost everyone in Dahab was there to dive, or snorkel.
The whole area is covered with mountains, which after my first dive I learned would've been underwater 100s of years ago and covered in corals. The land continues to drop off in a similar fashion under the water. There's not much in the way of a beach, the water is shallow for between 5-10M depending on where you are, then just drops off 100sM below.
The diving was incredible. My first wall dive was at the blue hole, which is the famous dive site in the area. I'm not going into too much detail, if you want details I can only encourage to dive yourself. It's THE most amazing thing I've ever done and I can't recommend it enough.
I got really lucky when booking my hostel “Dahab dorms”, part of the Red sea Relax resort I had access to the pool, free breakfast and free accommodation on the days I dived. Fantastic. Hostel world said “the best dorms in Egypt”, I would go one step further and say the best dorms I've ever stayed in and the best part, I was alone the whole time!
The dive shop joined onto the hotel, the aptly named red sea relax dive shop was very good. Very professional. I intended to check out a few different dive shops to get the best price, but as soon as I walked into the dive shop the energy was very professional. Which is the most important thing when choosing who to dive with, obviously it doesn't take much to go wrong 30M under the sea for someone to die.
This brings me onto the end of Egypt and the end of my 16 months and one week trip. I return home a different person, full of amazing new memories and lessons learned. There's been some incredible ups and some very low lows. I've met some amazing people who I can call friends for life and I'm sure it won't be too long before I see them again.
I've told my parents that I'm going to NZ for another working holiday, but actually plan to surprise them by returning home.
I plan to spend at least a couple of weekends a month travelling around then UK to keep myself sane as I save up for another 12 months, ready for a new adventure.
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