After MELA finally signed the job contract with a start date of March 1, a short holiday to warm temperatures was overdue, we had been off nitrogen since way too long and needed a dose of bottom time in the ocean. As our friend Marc was spontaneous and available, too, we quickly booked on a Monday and flew out, at a freezing -15C, on the Saturday after. Red Sea, Dahab, here we come!
The travel day was long and exhausting, the most funny thing the announcements in the departure area (!) of the airport in Cairo, that were about like this: there would be a Beatles song, and the voice would announce the arrival (!) of a plane from Heathrow. And a chanson with the announcement of a plane from Paris, and Nena when the yellow kranich from Frankfurt would come in. Kudos for their personalization!
The following four days we spent mainly in the water, and at Yalla Bar. Dominik and Marc completed their advanced open water diver certification, while Melanie explored the eel garden and Islands. We squeezed in a nightdive (Marc’s 100th dive), went deep at the Blue Hole, said “hello” to a lot of Nemos, and ventured to the national park of Ras Abugalum… getting to the dive site on a camel. Funny, but 2 hours is enough, especially when your camel is either too slow, too fast, or just not sociable so you can’t talk to your fellows. However, Ras is one of the best dive sites around, not crowded, and somehow still virgin.
The last day we had to get off nitrogen again, so no more diving – instead, climbing in the Coloured Canyon! A cool valley just behind Dahab, with plenty of routes from 4 to 7. Unfortunately, the easier routes are hardly climbed, so our guide also didn’t want to have to clean them up. Which meant, we should have been a lot clearer on our skill levels. No leading possible in those routes, top roped it partly was hard work, but in the end, every one of us had his or her moment of joy, and that’s what makes it worth it.
Final evening, Yalla Bar for food (as the past days we mainly had liquid food there). The bar is right on the boardwalk in Dahab, the guys from our dive resort practically forced us to learn and do debriefs there…always closely watched by about 20 different cats (we guess that for some reason they are the old Egyptian animal…hard to get rid off which is why they are always on the hieroglyphs too). We learned to pronounce "anemone" the correct way and tried to explain our egyptian dive guide with nickname Barracuda what a glacier is (telling him about our hobbies in CH). Chilling atmosphere, cheap beer, cool sunsets, wifi access, and as we discovered on the last evening, really good food too.
All in all, an awesome trip! Hopefully we can make it a tradition to meet with Marc every spring somewhere for diving, next time MELA will have her number 100, so it has to be warm water!