Well, it certainly wasn't a good morning! Poor
Guy was prostrate on the bed and very weak from
a night worshipping the porcelain. I managed to
pack all our possessions and went downstairs to
pay the bill.
to the room, Guy said he felt well enough to make
the walk down to the Mohamed Ali Hotel,
otherwise known as Club Red. In fact, he
thought that would be preferable to facing a taxi
driver in his weakened condition. So he staggered
into his backpack and I carried the rest of our
accoutrements, my backpack and the two daypacks
and we made our way down to the Mohamed Ali,
where we had booked a room the day before.
HERE IS A WARNING TO ALL YOUNG TRAVELLERS
ever believe an Egyptian hotel clerk.
faithfully promised we would be able to move in
at 11am we arrived to find "the previous
guests will not leave until 12pm". Aaaargh!
I pointed out Guy's desperate condition and said
he couldn't possibly sit around in their courtyard
(as they suggested) until then. So they reluctantly
gave us a room for him to rest in until ours was
I settled him into a comfortable bed and made
off for breakfast. After a quick coffee and croissant,
I returned to find Guy asleep. Not wishing to
wake him, I sat outside in the courtyard. At 12pm,
I walked across to reception to be told "They
will be leaving at 1pm,Insh Allah."
Back to the courtyard where I met a pleasant chap
called Mila who worked for the Dive Club at Club
Red. I idly played with his kitten Balahat until
it was time to go back to reception.
"Is our room ready now?" I asked.
Then it all came out - they had actually given
our room to someone else the previous night and
had been waiting for the people in the next room
to move out.
I asked to view the room, which was being cleaned.
Checking it out, I pointed out that whilst it
was very nice, it was not a patch on the one we
had booked and no way were we going to pay the
same rate. "Of course, we will come to an
agreement later." said the clerk. And I returned
to the courtyard to wait ... and wait.
at 3.30pm I lost patience and marched up to the
desk again. "Surely it is clean now!"
"Well, yes, lady but we thought you would
stay in the other room, as you have used it."
(translate that as they had someone else at reception
to whom they were trying to sell the room) No
such luck. I turned to the other couple, explained
what had happened and claimed the room as ours.
Then came the fun of moving everything up to the
room and helping Guy make it from one bed to another.
He was feeling slightly better but still only
wanted to sleep. Lucky him, at least he had slept
through all the drama. But on arrival in the new
room he expressed his disappointment "It's
not as nice as the other one." If he
hadn't been sick, I would have killed him! After
all I'd been through ....
The drama continued, with no lights and intermittent
water, but we were both too exhausted to care
evening, Guy was feeling better and ventured out
on the balcony to view the parade. We saw our
Kiwi friend Dane and invited him to come
up on Christmas Day for a few drinks. Then we
ventured into the back streets for a quiet meal
- no seafood tonight!
At around 7.00pm, just when we had given up hope
of Doug arriving, there was a knock on
the door and there he was - exhausted after non-stop
travelling from London to Tel Aviv,
bus to Eilat and then bus to Taba,
going through Immigration at Taba and then
catching a taxi to Dahab. Two days non-stop,
3 countries. His Alitalia flight had been
cancelled and he had been rerouted with El
Al who had given him a thorough third degree
on seeing his passport, with stamps from Sudan
and Uganda (not the Israelis' most popular
destinations). Unfortunately, he could only get
a Sinai visa so is unable to travel to mainland
Egypt. That means we will have to stay in Dahab
for New Year also.
But we were so happy to see him. It had been almost
a year since he left us in Perth to return
to Nairobi for his Cairo to Capetown
Carnage Tour and he and I celebrated accordingly.
Sitting on the balcony, we saw our friends Ana
and Ivor and invited them up for a few
drinks as they were leaving in the morning. When
they left, Guy went back to bed and Doug
and I went downstairs to book him a room. For
EP10 he got a tiny room - just a double
bed really - with no window but a lock on the
door. Good value really and a sea breeze too as
it was upstairs. Despite his exhaustion, Doug
was still able to stay up till the wee small hours
and chat to me about life in London, his girlfriend
Melissa and his plans for the coming year.
Eventually we bade each other goodnight. Tomorrow
was Christmas Day.