Friday, March 24, 2006

Red Sea Write-Up - Part I

Diving in the Red Sea was awesome to the say the least.
The trip started off somewhat unimpressively (as with most holidays) with a crummy charter flight. To be fair to the airline (Excel Airways) the food was actually pretty decent. Although I did manage to cut through the cob with the serrated plastic knife provided and into my hand - requiring a plaster from the steward, who did look surprised at the amount of damage the supposedly 'safe' knife was capable of doing!

On arrival at Hurghada airport we quickly discovered that there was no-one waiting for us in the Visa area, so we had to fork out a tenner for one (despite being told it was included in our package by the agent). So we get through the Visa area and find noone waiting for us.. Uh oh! We dig out a number and call the UK agent at the bargain roaming rate of £1.80 a minute - we didn't want to be on the phone long. Fortunately the guy did say he'd chase the liveaboard company to ask them where their man was. 20 minutes later their chap arrives in a somewhat tatty van to pick us up and take us to the boat, along with a Scottish bloke called Rob who was also booked on the trip and lost at the airport.

We find out the boat has changed as the M/Y Blue Waves is in drydock so we're staying on the M/Y Dreams instead. So we unload our stuff on to the new boat and get stuck into booze and grub.

On the subject of grub - it has to be said that the standard of food was excellent all week - I did especially like the pancakes for breakfast - but then I've always been a bit of a pancake fanatic. The dive guide tells us we're staying in port overnight before heading out early in the morning, at which point we will do the first (warm up) dive on a reef at Shaab El'Erg.

Next instalment: the diving itself!

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