Mountains to the west of Dahab, Egypt...
Arrived after a grueling bus ride yesterday. Glad I took the 0715 bus though. I awoke from dozing off just in time to witness the bus going under the Suez Canal. It was surprisingly narrow. When we popped out of the other side of the tunnel, it appeared as if dozens of humongous container ships were floating in the heat waves pouring off the hot desert sand. Much of the segment from Suez to Sharm El-Sheik was pretty bleak. Flat desert, rimmed in the distant horizon with jagged mountain ranges to the east and the white-capped turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Suez to the west.
The bus was tolerably comfortable. The bus was never really full until we picked up victims of a mechanically challenged bus along the way.
Sharm, from a distance, considering it's top ranking as a tourist resort, was nothing to write home about: an highly exposed, sunbaked, sea pounded, cluster of homogeneous condo units. From there I and two other vagabounds switched buses for Dahab. Suffice to say, the scenery the remaining way turned dramatic. Close by jagged beige mountains jutted impressively from the base of the surrounding desert. The monochrome of the coastal monoliths was disrupted by ubiquitous, funky, striking bands of olive green rock.
Dahab appears to be a full on tourist town. There are two primary streets. I guess you can't even call one of them a street. More like a sea wall. A pedestrian, cobblestoned walk sandwiched by a strip of open air restaurants adjacent to the sea and another strip of even more restaurants and souvenir shops. Other than the locals running the businesses and an omnipresent army of motley-dressed, pre-pubescent Bedouin girls selling home crafted bracelets, there were few tourists other than large flocks of sunburned Russians, hippie-ish Japanese and groovy Koreans. Light all of this at night and you get the UN of all Disneylands.
I'm staying at the 7Heaven in a two dullah hut (15 LE). Nice. Cheap as borscht (hope the Russians don't find out about this place). I thought I'd be on the beach (like in Thailand) but I'll take this roof top locale.
This is the most touristy place I've stayed at. Not my style but I'll give it an honest try for a few days.
It's a small world... Re-united with Jason (from Siwa), Robert/Mohammed (German), and Matt (the American from Sudan). It's nice to see everyone. Mohammed seems to be a changed man. Effervescent, if I may use that word to describe a man. He's been here for 5 days now. He says this place is un-real. I'll certainly agree with him on that observation.
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Marker points to the legendary 7Heaven Hotel. Huts on top of the roof were 15 LE. Real cheap. Each hut is equipped with a fan. Good ventilation during the night but brutally hot during the day. Who hides in their room during the day when the Sea of Aqaba beckons from metres away? Anyway, "normal" concrete based rooms available. Hang on to your glasses in the showers. I'll explain in a later post... Diving lessons/trips available. Check for better quality elsewhere.
Out of Canuckistan: A travel blog, June 12/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!