Friday, 23 November 2007

Diving without a licence (Day 14)

Our last day in Egypt began (like the rest of them) with a clear blue sky and hot, hot sun above us.

The bigger part of our group wanted to take it easy by the hotel pool and enjoy a cocktail or two. M. and I have decided that we'll have enough time to rest when we get back home.
We have been quite busy these 14 days but we wanted to make the most of what was left of our time in Egypt. Who knows when (if ever) we'll be back again.

Not so long ago we were thinking of getting a PADI OWD diving license but in the end decided not to do it at that time. Since we didn't have a license we had to find some kind of an alternative. We didn't know it until then but you can get a taste of diving even without a license. It is called Introduction dive.
After some research we chose one of local diving agencies. They charged us €35 per person with transport and equipment included.

The vehicle that picked us up was not in a very good shape but we didn't mind it. After all it was the diving experience we were interested in.

When we arrived to the diving site we first had some paperwork to fill and equipment to try. Our instructor took us to the beach, where we listened to some theory. After a quarter of an hour we were ready for some hands on experience.
Another fifteen minutes of practice in waist deep water and we were swimming away for the real thing. Those few exercises help you learn a few basic things like emptying your mask underwater. It also helps your instructor to decide how deep can he take you.
I guess we did quite well because he took us under 10 meters. The dive itself took about a half an hour and we saw some serious fish. Among others there were some lionfish and parrotfish swimming around. We even saw a tuna.
Unfortunately we didn't take our camera with us that day. So no photos of me wearing all that diving equipment. I'm sure both of my readers will be really disappointed.

We really enjoyed it and have decided that if/when we decide to move on with our PADI license we will come back to Red Sea to do it. It's quite an alternative compared to learning in a swimming pool back at home. And most likely it would be even cheaper.

After returning to the hotel we had just enough time to grab a meal. We had a delicious portion of squids by the beach.
We didn't have much time to grab our bags from the hotel and stuff them into a minibus. Before we knew it we were looking at Dahab in our rear-view mirror.

About an hour into the desert we stopped at a police checkpoint. After a routine passport check our guide has realized that his documents were left at the Dahab hotel.
If we liked it or not we had to wait at a nearby cafe until the documents were delivered.

After a few cups of tea we were back on our way. This time we had no trouble passing through the checkpoint and into the desert.

Our driver was pushing the pedal to the metal. He didn't mind the traffic much and was overtaking everything and all the time. In one of such situations when there was also a car coming the opposite way, a loud bang could be heard. The driver somehow managed to maneuver the minibus to the edge of the road.
It was our rear right tyre.

My first thought was: 'Do we have a spare?' It wouldn't be very funny to be left in the middle of the desert with a flat tyre when you have a plane to catch.
At that time we were still more then 500 kilometers away from Cairo and at the same time our eventual replace ride was many hours away.

Fortunately we had a spare and soon enough the blown-to-shreds tyre was replaced and we were on our way again.

The rest of our trip went by without any further incidents. It was past midnight when we arrived to Cairo airport.


Renee 24 November 2007 at 04:59  

What awesome posts! You are so lucky to be able to go to such a wonderful place!

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