Dahab, Egypt is totally freaking awesome.
Even when I fall ludicrously behind on my blog posts, I tend to try to write chronologically. But today I’m going to skip ahead for a moment.
It’s really a great feeling when you’re traveling and each place you arrive gives you the feeling of “This place is amazing – I could really live here for a few months if I had the time.” In all honesty I didn’t expect to get that feeling in Egypt – most of my research implied that it would often be pretty third-world and uncomfortable. Well, this may be true of Cairo – but it sure isn’t true in Dahab.
Right now I’m reclining in a pillow pit six inches from the coast of the Red Sea. There’s a family of newborn kittens purring on one of the pillows to my left, as a giant sheesha – water pipe – lets off the soft smell of mango. It cost me one US dollar. Across the water I can just make out the coast of Saudi Arabia.
It’s a quiet night, despite the combination of sounds around me – the waves of the Red Sea, the wind blowing through the oasis palms above, the distant chatter of a boatfull of divers, and the ambient music coming from the restaurant’s outdoor speakers. Tomorrow I’ll look into the available dive trips in the area – two of the world’s top ten sites are within a morning’s walk of where I sit – but for now, I’ll just sit here and enjoy the environment. My private hotel room, which cost $6 per night, is about twenty paces up the beach, but laying in this candlelit pillow pit and using the free WiFi is much more comfortable. Plus I get to socialize with Kareem, a very friendly local who always comes over to hang out when not too busy waiting tables. Soon I’ll have dinner – a huge plate of fresh seafood, caught just this morning. It’ll cost about $8. Expensive for Egypt.
And to think: Just like Morro de Sao Paolo in Brazil, Dahab was never supposed to be part of the itinerary. It was just an easy stop on the way to Mt. Sinai, and since I’d heard good things from another backpacker I met a few days ago in Isreal, I decided to give it a look.
I don’t think we’ll be leaving after one night as planned.