Friday, 16 November 2007

A story about a boy and a dolphin (Day 12)

For the second night in a row we had a chance to sleep under the stars, just a step away from the sea.

What's better then a swim in the sea first thing in the morning? And it is Red Sea I'm talking about!
In my book hardly anything can top that. Well, I can actually think of a few things, but this is not that kind of a blog...

Anyway, some twenty meters into the sea there was a lonely coral rock and a bunch of fish of all colors around it. It was at a depth of around three meters, so I could get real close. Not too close though - there was a Lionfish swimming around and I didn't want to push my luck. There was no sign of dolphins though.

After breakfast I went for a stroll around the little village of Nuweiba.
Just outside the camp there was a sign standing by the road. I could tell it was standing there for some years. It had a faded inscription on it saying:

Dolphin dreams - Swim with wild dolphins

When I asked our guide about it he told me a story about a mute Bedouin boy who became friends with a wild dolphin.

The dolphin kept returning to the same spot every day. When the word about the unusual friendship got around, they were famous. More and more people started coming to Nuweiba to see it with their own eyes and also to swim with the dolphin.

It didn't take long for some people to see a business opportunity in this. So soon enough visitors were charged to swim with the dolphin.
Unfortunately money usually comes together with greed. In this case it was no different. Some people just couldn't get enough and started quarreling.

From that point on, there are two versions of the story (one sadder then the other):

  • The first version says that in one of those quarrels someone really lost his temper. He simply took his rifle and shot the poor dolphin.

  • By the second version the dolphin supposedly sensed the quarrels and problems emerging because of him. He simply swam away and never came back again.

You can decide for yourself which one of those two options seemes more plausible.

The only dolphin we saw when staying in Nuweiba was a wooden one by the sea. It is supposed to remind people of the ruined friendship between a boy and a dolphin.

After breakfast we left it all behind and headed into the desert once again.

We had another canyon on our itinerary. By my opinion this one was the most spectacular of them all. It is a colorful canyon, also called Rainbow Canyon. Those colorful patterns were nothing short of spectacular.

Among other interesting things we saw a huge desert lizard. Well it seemed huge through my European eyes. It was about a meter long and really fat.

When Abdullah our Bedouin guide saw it, he jumped after it. The lizard just had enough time to hide into a deep hole under a rock.
This didn't stop Abdullah. He tried hard to dig it out, but after ten minutes or so gave it up.
Lizards of that kind are supposedly a Bedouin delicacy. I'm not sure if he wasn't just teasing us and only wanted to dig it up for us to take a closer look at it.

At the only time I could take a photo of it, M. had my photo camera. However she successfully took photos of another much smaller but just as interesting desert lizard.

Like those other canyons we saw, this one also had a few tight places to squeeze through. It was fun. Well at least for some of us.

After gathering some sand in many different colors we left the desert and headed for Dahab.


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