Most US folk have never heard of this far off beachy town on the southeastern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. But if your an avid traveler, it is an awesome trip add-on when visiting the Middle East.
Prior to my 15th GAdventures group adventure setting off from Cairo, I had planned 5 full days relaxing at a dive resort on a tranquil bay of the Red Sea.
I had actually screwed up in scheduling the wrong Covid test and had to retake it at the Orlando Airport, missing my flights and having to rearrange my entire transatlantic vaca 24 hours later. I’m in debt to Tessa & Dave for tag teaming a rescue mission to save me from sleeping on the airport floor overnight. Rerouting to Newark then Frankfurt and finally Cairo worked out swimmingly. Only speed bump was begging EgyptianAir to reissue my final leg ticket to Sharm el Sheikh and was rewarded a new voucher since the agent I had called 24 hours earlier flagged my account. Yippee!! Upon arrival at 9pm, after now traveling for 33 hours (and a deranged 4 year old kicking and screaming the entire last 40 min flight), my pre-arranged driver was prompt BUT didn’t speak a lick of English and had no idea where my resort was. WTF?! I had the address and after 2 calls it was literally 2 miles away (and I knew that).
After sleeping for 10 hours, I spent day 1 lounging on the beach, exploring the 3 resorts lined up together and wading in the crystal blue waters. May temps are similar to the FL summer bake fest without a cloud in the sky all day, so I fit right in. I enjoyed a massive stone oven pizza for 65 Egyptian pounds or $4 at the Bedouin tent. If you’ve never seen or been to one, it is very cozy and boasts padded cushions on the floor with extra pillows. I then read a book beachside, under the stars, listening to the gentle waves, which became my nightly routine. Simplicity at its best.
Day 2 was a two tank dive in the Red Sea and truly spectacular! Since travel in the Middle East is still slow post Covid lockdown, I was solo with the hunky guide and we took off by simply wading off shore and went until we were low on air. The water was crystal clear, coral abundant, fish plentiful, weather perfect in the 90s = ideal conditions! I even got to keep the mask the rest of the day and headed out for more snorkeling from the jetty.
Day 3 I can’t say I did too much (even missed the complimentary breakfast) but lounge on the beach and I wouldn’t change a thing. I even squeezed in a beachside massage and more snorkeling the reef. Rough life, huh?
My final day I arranged a local quad bike tour through the Egyptian desert. It was a blast taking the reigns of my own roadster and we flew off into the dusty unknown in a single file line. From lounging camels to rocky overlooks to yelling across Echo mountain to hear the reverb, we purposely got lost in this vast expanse of nothingness.
And finally while taking in one last sunset along my dive resort jetty, I closed out a seamless first week halfway across the world. Wheels up to Cairo for the next leg of my world tour!