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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last day in Hurghada, Egypt

Today is our last day in Hurghada. Really, if you aren't diving there isn't much to do here at all. The city itself thrives on tourism and we are in winter here. That means that the daytime temp is only about mid-70s. The city is full of unfinished construction of what seems like will be hotels. Apparently there is no property tax on unfinished buildings, so there is not a large incentive to finish them. The touristy part of town is a little sickening and I am glad I have spent most of my time here looking at fish instead of shops!

We finished our SCUBA certification yesterday, and I can see where the addiction comes in for being a diver. Rahima was more than happy to spend the day sleeping in. After four days of being up and out by 7:45am and then being in either a classroom or underwater practicing skills for 8 hours a day, she really wanted her sleep. As for me, I wanted to do a day of diving without any skills, practice exercizes or tests. So I did a half day, two-dive trip this morning. In contrast to my travel buddy, I was picked up at 6:50am and was on the boat and moving by 7:05am. Urgh. But it was worth it. It was amazing because there were no other boats at the dive site when we got there and went in. When we got out (about an hour later) there were a total of 11 boats, gearing up and ready to jump in. We had it really good. :) We did a second dive at another site about an hour and a half later, and the boats that were there were happily taking a lunch break, so we once again were the only three divers on the reef (me, another diver, and Hilde, my instructor/guide).

We saw tons of cool fish, and when I say tons, I mean literally thousands of fish. A few times there were schools of hundreds of fish and you could just swim right through them, or float along with the current beside them. We saw a HUGE feathertail stingray yesterday when diving, at least a meter wide and probably a little bit more than a meter long (not icluding the tail!) Today we saw a giant clam, probably about a meter wide and a half a meter tall. It was indigo, and really, really neat! We saw two different kinds of poisonous lionfish and two VERY venomous scorpionfish. We also saw lots of "Nemos" (clownfish), angelfish, butterfly fish, mantarays, and a pretty interesting looking crocodile fish to name a few. I wish I had an underwater camera to be able to post some pictures, but that will be in another lifetime, with a substantially bigger budget!

So tomorrow we will leave the Red Sea and head to Luxor. I can't wait to see what is in store for us. Although I have only seen a very small part of this country (and almost nothing above water), I have to say that Egypt sure holds a lot of treasures, and I have just begun to explore them.

1 comment:

Keiko said...

Isn't diving great! After my first real dive I wanted to travel the world to dive in different countries. I'm so jealous that you have that opportunity!