Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sawa Camp - welcome to Egypt!

After packing up the Bedouin camp and taking some glamour shots by one of the old Jeeps, we headed to Jordan's port city of Aquaba, where we would catch our ferry to Egypt. We would have a new guide in Egypt, so we had to say goodbye and take the ferry without Husam. The ferry was enormous, and was just like a Greek islands ferry only with people in veils and robes. Half of our group went to sit in the First class section, but I chose to slum it by the men's bathroom, where I met these rambunctious little boys:

Every so often, people would kneel on mats and pray. We were able to go through Egyptian customs on the boat, but the customs man got annoyed and told us to be quiet at least three times, because we were chatting with some Argentinians and practicing our spanish. Near my seat, there was a long line for the bathroom, and one guy who had apparently been holding things up came out with wet arms, fanning the back of his robe, which was also wet. Sprayers are used in lieu of toilet paper here. But you can b.y.o.t.p., which I definitely do at all times. Actually that guy can be seen at the top of the above picture. The women's bathroom had a large puddle of water as well. When we arrived to the sketchy port area of Nuweiba and disembarked, we saw some little boys playing with some rifles that looked a little too realistic for my taste - but they waved at me like an old friend. It turns out they were my little rascals from the boat in the first picture! hey guys!

After a 20 minute ride with our new guide, also named Husam - a younger and taller version who preferred we just call him Sam, we arrived at a lovely beach camp - a pretty beach, restaurant with pillows and reed huts with mosquito nets.

Thanksgiving dinner (white bean stew and pita bread) with my fellow Americans:

The next morning, most of the group went diving. I was going to save that for Dahab anyhow, and was completely wiped out so I spent the entire day on a pile of pillows with my books and some turkish coffee:

I spent about 9 hours in this same spot:

Every so often, I would go chat with Sharon, Isabel and Marie Antoinette. It was a beautiful, peaceful quiet day. Here is the hut I shared with Helen, who went diving with the others:

the huts:

After a day of complete comatose relaxation, I discovered that I was completely covered with mosquito bites. They itch like mad. While I was laying on the pillows, the mosquitoes had quite a meal of me. We had a nice group dinner on the pillows, and I went to bed embarrassingly early.
The next morning with all that rest, I bounced out of bed at a quarter to six and saw this lovely sunrise:

Saudi Arabia can be seen in the photos across the gulf of Aqaba. I did some yoga on the front porch to stretch out my back. Then I inspected my mosquito-bitten feet:

yeah, I'd go back.. for sure.

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