You always have to start somewhere and here is where it’s going to be, Dahab Egypt. Since I finally decided to start to blog and I have been here diving everyday and getting up to new adventures, where else could I possibly write about other than this amazing place.
A one way ticket to paradise, yes thats right I got on a plane from London and moved to Dahab, Egypt to become a professional scuba diver. I arrived late on a Thursday night 18th October 2012 into Sharm El Sheikh, not having transport to Dahab as I read on some travel forums to just walk out of the airport, catching a cab to the bus station and bus from there is the cheapest way. Instead after a hour of hassle I found a cab driver who would take me to Dahab for 200 EGP, this is a great deal as it’s a hour drive away from Sharm, well supposed to be although my cab driver had never heard of my hostel. So with some directions from his peers I finally arrived at Penguin Village (very cheap and by the water, Sinbad camp and Alaska camp are decent and cheap for the tighter travellers). Hungry as hell I set out in search of some food, the main street where I was staying at Mashraba in the evening apeared to be a dump. Not satisfied with my where bouts, I quickly grabbed filafel plate (huge plate for 15 EGP) and went to bed and prayed that my one way ticket was the right decision. Luckily enough the next day i headed into town to find a beautiful bay with dive centres, bars and restaurants all along with water’s edge, I finally found what I was after.
Dahab local to the Bedouin tribe, which in Arabic Bedouin means – the desert people. The Bedouin’s here are always quite witty and funny having a laugh with the tourists that come and go. Majority of the Bedouin’s in the local areas of Dahab are very welcoming, and quite often ask you to sit down offering you Egyptian Tee (a tee saturated with sugar but very delicious). It’s very tough times for Egypt and tourist numbers are dwindling to an all time low.
The revolution has put a huge dampener on things, whilst journalists publish glorified stories describing crazy riots in Cairo and how unstable Egypt is. This is far from the truth, Egypt is a very safe place, as long as you are not a looking for trouble or are a ignorant traveler flashing your fancy clothes, jewellery and technology devices as you walk the streets. Many businesses here are struggling and are in need of tourism, talking to the locals informing me that Dahab 15 years ago had 10 times as many tourists, and that’s just during the low season in Dahab, let alone other parts of Egypt such as Cairo and Luxor which I will get to in other posts.
Now I have done my fare share of traveling, visiting many places and this may come as a shock, but nowhere else in the world have I met people so helpful, humble and kind-heated. My mum would always ask when chatting to her online, “Jaryd are you really happy living in Dahab?” As if the place is just a sandy desert with nothing to offer. “Mum of course I am happy here” I say to her, “I wouldn’t have stayed here so long if I wasn’t, just you wait and see yourself”, she’s visiting in a month.
There’s so much to offer in Dahab, Diving and Wind/Kite surfing are of the two most popular things here but also desert safari trips in Jeeps, on quad bikes, camels or you can even hike. If you are interested in diving, which is what I have been doing as a Dive master here, you’re in for a treat as the visibility is great and always consistent. I am going to be very sad to say good bye to not just this gem of a place I have called home for the past 4 months but also to the people, close friends I will definitely all see again someday on my travels. I head to Israel and Jordan in about a week, blog to come.
Must do’s – Scuab dive or snorkel atleast, Visit coloured canyon and white canyon, climb Mt. Sinai or spend a night in the desert under the stars,Take a boat trip.
Budget – Beer 15-20 EGP, Spirits 15-35 EGP, Meals 20-100 EGP, Rooms can go from dorms of 25-60 EGP per night or Hotels from 10-100 Euro plus or there are all inclusive Hotels available for a little more
Favourite places – Bars; Red Seas Relax (cheapest bar), Mojitos, Rush, Tree Bar
Dinning; Blue House (Thai), Mona Mama’s (Egyptian), King Chicken (Egyptian), Shark Restraunt, Yalla
Advice - Closest airport is Sharm El sheikh, you can get transfers from your hotel/hostels if arranged. Eat Bedouin food its delicious, Scuba Dive, and take a desert safari. Ask how much everything is before you buy it and be sure to barter when your shopping, Eat at Blue House (Thai restraunt)