Hope you are all having a wunderbar week so far :)
I ended up getting a ride back to Dahab with the diving guys after our diving trip to Hurhada over the weekend. I mentioned it before, but weekends here are Friday and Saturday, so it is already mid-week for us here.
Not that it really matter for me these days - I tend to lose track of the days. Which, if you have never experienced this before, is probably the most amazing feeling ever.
I can officially say with confidence that I would not - I repeat NOT - recommend making the drive from Hurghada to Cairo to Sinai all in one go.
It took us about 7 hours to get back to Katameya, where my mom lives. We had to drop some people off in Ma'adi beforehand, and got stuck at a couple of check points. I have gotten used to multiplying the time that you expect something to take by two...
Anyway, I ran in and packed my bag - I've gotten very fast at doing this - and grabbed some snacks and then off we went.
Falafel sandwich. My fav.
My compadres for the trip included the driver, Mohammed, one of the owners of the diving center* we go through, Bassem, and George, who heard that we were driving back to Dahab and met us on the side of the highway at about midnight. Too funny.
*Note: if ever you are thinking of doing any diving in Dahab, Ras Mohammed or Sharm (they can also hook you up with boat diving in Hurghada or Alexandria) def check out Aventure Spot diving center in Dahab (www.adventurespot-dahab.com) - they are the bestest!
Anyway, the drive itself was a bit crazy. I have only ever made the trip with a van-load of other foreigners, but I was riding solo this time (although obviously in good hands).
We stopped at a random restaurant area just before the tunnel going under the Suez to wait for Bassem's brother, Abdu, who had dropped off the American teachers. We took tea and had sandwiches - a white hotdog bun with a couple of slices of Egyptian cheese (not to be confused with Canadian cheese - it all tastes a bit funky to me here, but I felt rude to say no).
Once the drivers had eaten their full and had a couple of teas, we headed towards the tunnel. They said that the next check point would determine whether we would make good time to Dahab or not. We stopped at the check point and the driver turned on the van's lights inside to show that I was there. He spoke to the soldier out the window and all I understood was 'Canadian'.
We pulled up and a group of soldiers, wielding huge guns, opened the sliding doors. One of the guys started to go through my purse, taking everything out one by one and checking to make sure I wasn't carrying anything - alcohol, drugs or guns. Once he was satisfied I had nothing, he said something to the guys and they laughed and closed the door. I asked what he said: mthey said you take care of this girl, and we said don't worry we will and slammed the door'.
We went on and had to stop every half hour at a check point, so it was a sleepless night for me. It went smoothly though, and we arrived in Dahab at around 8am - a good amount of time considering they had to explain why I was there every time.
Needless to say, I had a loooong nap once we arrived. I'm staying at the diving studios at a cute little apartment with a kitchen.
Looking forward to a week of relaxing by the Red Sea :)