Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
After chartering a boat, Ras Mohammed was about an hour ride off the coast. It was a typical winter day on the Sinai Penisula – 82 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The water was warm and extremely clear. It is believed to be called the “Red Sea” due to the reddish, mineral-rich mountains that dominate the coastline. We saw an amazing array of wildlife that day. The variety of coral and fish was spectacular. My most unforgettable moment was when a moray eel popped out of its hole and swam about a metre underneath me. The moray was longer than I was and you could see the razor sharp teeth up close. I just stayed as still as possible and raised my rump as high as I could to avert a potential catastrophe. We had a video crew with us that day. They shot us an amazing DVD that included up close footage of the menacing moray.
There are some wonderful hotels in Sharm. We stayed at the Cataract. They offer plenty of exciting excursions for adventure travellers. We opted for the evening Quad Biking tour. They go at night because it is just too hot during the day. We rented a quad and barrelled through the Sinai desert. At night, we stopped for tea with a Bedouin (nomadic) tribe. This was a real experience – you’ll never see a clearer sky than in the middle of the desert. It was just us, the local Arabs and a few camels in the middle of nowhere. The immensity of the desert is overwhelming.
Sharm El Sheikh is about a 13-hour flight from B.W.I. You need to fly into Cairo to pick up the connecting 45-minute flight into Sharm. From the airport, it’s about a 20-minute taxi into town. The taxis pull up outside the town and drop you off. Since the car bombings in 2005, the resort is closed off to non-essential vehicles. We visited in January of 2006 and didn’t have any problems. Despite the strength of the U.S. Dollar against the Egyptian Pound, Sharm was a little pricey. Locals here are the highest paid in the country. Regardless, we got what we paid for. This was the best aquatic wildlife we’ve ever seen. The romp through the desert was priceless. The hospitality was fantastic. It was great to take a peek at one of the Middle East’s most exotic resorts.
– The Rox