Land or Sea?

27 April

D Day. For now, decisions on where to go during the remainder of my time in Egypt can wait. First, I opt for an activity requiring little decision or planning; a run. Trucks and vehicle drivers wave and blow kisses. One car even stopped, getting out of the car, coming at me holding a plastic bag filled with snacks, mid run, on the side of the highway in the flipping desert. “hello, one minute of your time, I have something for you”. I was taught not to take candy from strangers growing up, so I replied, “Sorry, I’m running”. Perhaps the driver thought I was a marathon runner needing sustenance? Can’t imagine someone running along the highway is a common sight.

The clock is ticking to checkout and I’m yet to make a plan. After missing the snorkel with the Italian, I ask him what boat he’s on so I can see if they’ve got availability as there are no cheap flights to Sharm El Sheik, the ferry to Sharm isn’t running and buses are 13 hours. Abu Simbel is a similar scenario last minute. No harm in asking. The liveaboard emails back with a discounted price (still $1500 Aud)… 11:30am, I pull the trigger, confirm the liveaboard and retreat to the beach for the afternoon without bothering to tell the Italian… he’ll find out soon enough and I wouldn’t want him to think my decision was based on him as what I want is to remove the stress of planning, relax and get deep sea.

Chilling on the beach under a partially shaded hut, sun, sand, sipping my Mojito, watching camels pass. The camels have bags strapped to their rear ends, to stop their droppings falling onto the beach… camel bum bags #animalfashioninegypt. Finally! Closing my eyes, I hear a voice. The Italian has found me. Eventually I divulge my liveaboard booking. Unsure why he’s so pleased… a week, with me, on a boat… the poor guy is in for a shock and potentially the need for therapy post holiday.

Unsure when I’ll get another alcoholic drink (alcohol isn’t typically found outside of resorts in Egypt. Could totally do dry July here) or cardio next, so I squeeze in a second Mojito and a run before leaving Abu Dabab. The liveaboard boat is moored at Port Ghalib, a “mini Dubai” of Egypt, about an hour away. A car arrives at the lodge to take the Italian and I to our new home for the next 7 days.

Always the last typically, this afternoon, we’re the first on the boat and pick our cabins. Later, I find the crew has moved the Italians bags into my room… assuming we are a couple, despite absolutely no affection or flirting displayed. Hahaha hilarious. We are soon joined by Manu, Martin and Matthias. Manu is from Belgium, Martin and Matthias are best friends from Switzerland (I think). A family of three will also join us. The boat is designed for 20 guests and we are a group of 8…

In Port Ghalib, I go on the hunt to acquire supplies for the trip, even managing to buy a bottle of Egyptian gin… and another ring. Something I don’t need…

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