Trip Report Sharm El Sheik
So, here we are. Already back from Egypt. Didn't log in for a week since
there was just NO time to go to an internet cafe....
Sooooo - one week ago on saturday afternoon some of us met here in Cologne to go with a small bus to the airport in Düsseldorf to meet the rest of the group and fly to Sharm El Sheikh. Our group consisted of 37 divers from our dive-club here in Cologne.
The flight times were bad as departure time was 9:35 PM but with a 1 hour time difference we arrived at 3:30 AM. The original plan had been to go on the boat the first day but that was before we knew the flight time. So the plans were changed. But thanks to the bad flight times we gained one dive-day (we had 6 instead of 5).
The flight was uneventful. I sat with a couple of friends and Silvia and I had a prosecco on the plane to celebrate our vacation...
We arrived in Sharm El Sheikh on time and off we were hearded into the arrival hall. There we were told that for diving we need the 'great visum' that costs 15 USD (the small one doesn't cost anything). But before we got it our temperature was measured (kind regards from swine flu.... ). After that we got our visa and then we were hearded to the busses. Since divers always have big bags we had to go into two separate busses. Once inside the guide told us we had to be in the lobby the next day at noon for a meeting (which was not possible for us since we were diving) and then the guide came to collect 20 Euro for the visum. I've been asking myself for over a week why we had to pay 20 Euro for a visum that costs 15 USD which is Euro is about 12 Euro. Didn't know back then that this was the first ripp-off.... Welcome to Sharm-El-Sheikh....
Arrived at the hotel, checked in, waited for our suitcases to arrive and went into instant coma....
The next morning we went to the breakfast buffet and found that the aircondition in that room was COLD. Breakfast was okay. After that we returned to our rooms, took the dive suitcases and went off to the dive shop. The dive shop was well organized but this is low-season and it was already small for the 130 divers that were there. I don't really wanna know how chaotic it is with 300 divers during high season.
Elsa, the guide on my boat (we had two boats as off day 2) explained us everything, then we got ready and went for the first dive at the house reef. I have new underwater housings for a DSLR and a flash and had had problems with them ever since I bought them. So for the first dive I took them with me but without cam and flash to check out if they were still leaking.
The first dive was already nice. We didn't have one dive without a napoleon fish. Those fish are just beautiful and can be as long as 2m (about 6 ft). Will post a pic later on. After the first official dive some of us went back to sleep while others (like my buddy Gitta and our friend Rolf) decided that we wanted to go back in later. That's what Gitta, Rolf and myself did later on and that time I brought the camera. Will post some pics later on.
In the evening Gitta, Georg, Rolf, Silvia and myself took a walk around the area of Naama Bay. Along the beach there are lots of bars and restaurants and everybody asks you to come in. Since we had booked halfboard we didn't wanna have dinner again. Gitta was looking for some shoes while I needed to go to the Hard Rock Cafe to buy a baseball cap and a present for my friend Bumper ;)
Behind the Hard Rock Cafe we found a street with lots of bars where we saw shisha-bars (water-pipe bars with carpets and cushions that looked comfy in the darkness :rolleyes: ) that looked like fun. In some of them we saw guys in Beduine-habit dance. This looked like fun so we decided to come back one of the next days. Returned to the hotel, sat at a bar close to the restaurant, had one more drink and went to sleep early...
Here are a couple of pics from the
house reef from the dives of the first day. I had taken empty housings with me
in the water to check yet again if they were still leaking which fortunately was
not the case. So for the second dive that I did only with Gitta and Rolf I took
the cam but without the flash as I wanted to get used to the cam first before
taking the flash as well.
This is a pyramide boxfish. Just fits for Egypt, does it? ;)
A pipe fish
And I LOVE napoleon fish. We had no dive without one...
And this is an absolutely gorgeous tree from within the hotel.
And the pool area at night...
The next morning it was off to the boat. We had two boats for us since we
were a lot of people. On the boat we were informed that we had to dive 'in a
line behind the guide' meaning that the buddy teams had to get in a row and dive
one team behind another. Not always fun...
First we drove out though to the first dive spot. From the boat you could see that the coastline is plastered with hotels that mostly don't have nice beaches (if they have any sand at all). Behind the hotels there is - just desert.
We got ready and jumped in for our first boat dive. Saw some really nice things there (but I am not yet finished with working on the pics of that dive)... unfortunately the colours are not that nice but I wanted to get familiar with the cam and the housing first before I started using the flash as well.
Towards the end of that dive I realized that my cold had gotten so bad that I'd been stupid to do the second dive of that day. During the lunch break it was so hot that even the captain jumped in the water in his jeans.
When everybody else jumped in in the afternoon I stayed on the boat (I think I was the first sick one of that trip...). I took a couple of pics though... ;)