Saturday, 14 July 2012

Snorkeling in the Red Sea

We were up early to make the most of the buffet breakfast before being whisked off to collect our goggles and fins (both of which were of dubious quality), followed by boarding our two-story boat bound for the reef.  It was a relaxing ride out with a family of Russians and some other oiled lathered men of Spanish original sunning themselves amongst during the hour long voyage.  When we arrived our suspicions of how the day would be came to fruition - we parked ourselves next to at least 20 other similar boats and looked out over the water that was already teeming with people.  

Approaching Paradise Beach
Once our group was ready, and there was finally some space in the water, our 'Dolphin' group leader signaled we should jump in.  Despite the mass amount of people looking brave in the water it was actually freezing and to add to that our leader soon became extremely annoying by shepherding us around even after we insisted we knew what we were doing and would prefer not to be stuck in the crowds.  (It soon became apparent that the only reason they wanted us to stick together as a group was so they could try to sell us all the video at the end of the day... Typical!).  Even so, the fish we saw were amazing and we were able to swim with many different varieties.  We quickly learnt that it was worth having a look up above you before surfacing after a dive down to the reef, as it was necessary to make sure that you weren’t going to smash into a group of Korean or Russian tourists all bobbing around in their life jackets. They were as thick as jellyfish and about as colorful too.

We were thoroughly frozen when we got out and tried to absorb as much sun as possible before the next snorkeling place.  Thankfully at the next stop not nearly as many people chose to go in and we were allowed to swim without the group, so it was a much better experience… despite the fact we were still harassed by some dumb tout trying to video our ‘experience'.  We didn’t last in the cold water too long though and after only 20 minutes most people were back on deck, which was perfect timing as the somewhat tasty buffet lunch was being served.  
Braving the cold water :)

We proceeded to motor over to ‘Paradise Beach’ which would be well named if there wasn’t hordes of tourists sunning themselves along the beautiful white, sandy beach (Perhaps it should be named Parasite Beach?). Oh well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – and since we were freezing still, it was nice to soak up some rays.  Soon we were almost warm enough to brave the water again…. before putting our feet in and then deciding against it :)

By 5pm we were back at the hotel and we enjoyed a cheap supermarket dinner before heading out with the group for a drink and some shisha.  Dave was the only guy amongst a group of seven ladies and the local lads kept congratulating him and calling him Casanova, while Dave kept trying to sell the ladies for a couple of hundred camels.  There were actually a few guys interested… 

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