Good morning! What a lovely day! I awoke at 5.30am
and woke Guy to view the sunrise coming up across
the sea. Then we promptly went back to sleep until
7am when we woke to see our beautiful esplanade
in daylight for the first time. Hardly anyone was
around at this hour - Dahab doesn't seem to come
to life until around 11am and pulsates well into
We walked along the esplanade and found a delightful
place called Aladdin to have breakfast. Guy
pigged out on the whole "sausage, egg, etc"
(but no bacon, being Muslims) and I had an omelette
and fresh guava juice. Yum!! I think I'll like it
breakfast, we had to start looking for alternative
accommodation, as our beautiful room at the Penguin
was only for one more night. So sad!
eventually settled on the Muhamed Ali Hotel
at the exhorbitant cost of EP100 (A$21.55)
a night but wow - we have a seafront room with
a balcony and ensuite! Hmm, mebbe Doug can sleep
on the balcony! We just loved the room and decided
it was worth spending a little extra for the Christmas
also found a place to burn a CD of our photos for
EP35 (A$7.55) (ouch!) but at least we can
clear the digital camera and start photographing
Honestly, you just have to be here to see this place!
A bay lined with hotels and restaurants. By the
seashore are cushioned "pits" with fires
and candles where you dine in romantic corners.
At night, the palm trees are garlanded with ropes
of coloured lights and the fragrant smoke from the
fires discourages the mozzies. Across the waters
of the Gulf gleams the Saudi town of Magda.
Lights flash on the water from passing ships on
their way to Aqaba or south towards Sharm
priced beginners lessons in scuba diving at US$220.00
each for 4-5 days and will think about having
are cheap here - Tshirts about EP15 (A$3.20).
Nothing is well made and the designs are pretty
tacky but apparently better than in Egypt proper.
There are many stores selling "precious stones"
and gold jewellery. They dazzle the eye with their
sparkle but the authenticity may well be questioned.
The famous sheesha pipes are much in evidence
too, both in shops and at every restaurant. All
manner of tobaccos are offered, particularly the
fruit varieties - apple, mango, melon, etc.
are some small carpet shops with local weaving.
I have my eye on a lovely Bedouin carpet which
could be used as a wall hanging but I've only
bargained it down to EP250 (A$53.95). It's
also quite heavy and I have to carry it in my
backpack. (Somehow I think it will be staying
behind when we leave.)
are now 2 ATMs in Assalah - new this year.
The first ATM we found was not working today.
We didn't discover the second one until we had
changed some American dollars. Luckily, the supermarket
changed some on the blackmarket as we got EP6.8
to the US$ - I think the bank rate is EP6.18
at the moment.
at the Penguin, we claimed our laundry
and got a very pleasant surprise. I had left EP100
in my pocket and it was still there - cleaned
and ironed! Yay!
evening we went down to dinner at the Penguin
restaurant on the esplanade and who should we
run into but ANA AND IVOR, our friends
from Croatia!!! We had met them first in Amman
in Jordan where we were staying in the same hotel,
then we met them in Madaba and Petra as they followed
the same route to Aqaba. Actually, only Ana
was there to begin with because they had just
arrived in Dahab and Ivor was looking for
had come overland from Aqaba through Israel
to the border town of Taba and thence down
Ivor eventually turned up and we had dinner
together and chatted. They are both students and
have only been married one month and are on their
honeymoon. Ana is studying Banking and Economics
and Ivor will be an architect. At present
they live with Ana's parents but hope to
emigrate to New Zealand or Australia. I hope they
remember us and look us up if they ever come to
the night, Guy exhibited all the classic
signs of food poisoning. The squid, methinks!! Of
course, Old Iron Guts was just fine so my penance
was lying listening to Guy's agony and wondering
if I should fetch a doctor. Somehow, we made it
through to the morning but Guy was still
extremely ill. And we had to move that morning!