Hello friends! Well, as promised, I am trying to keep up with my travel posts better than I have over the past couple of weeks in Cairo.
Although, not going to lie, I'm already a bit behind ;)
We decided to go diving in Hurghada with some of the teachers from my Momsters school to avoid the weekend in Cairo - there were rumours of big things happening to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of Mubarak on January 25th.
So Emily and I packed our bathing suits and took the long van ride to the Red Sea. The ride actually only took us 5 hours - we had good luck with all of the check points along the way.
The van coming from the American school didn't have our luck, unfortunately. They got in just after midnight after a gruelling 7 hour ride after getting stuck in traffic in Cairo - 'the jam'.
Sunset on the Red Sea
We got up bright and early on Friday to set out on the boat for 3 dives. We saw tons of moray eels, really nice reefs and tons of fish. We saw a HUGE Napoleon fish - about 4 feet long, for reals.
After diving, the whole group went out for dinner at a Thai place - I can't remember the name of it for the life of me, but it was near the marina beside the spa where you put your feet in tanks and little fish nibble the dead skin off your feet. For reals. I don't make this stuff up!
It was a great group of people, so we hung out for a bit and got totally ripped off on our shisha - they charged 30le instead of the regular 10le (a little over $4 instead of $1 - I know, poor us) and then a small group of us went to the bar near our diving apartments before calling it a night pretty early since we had another 7am wake up call.
After grabbing our morning jolt of caffeine at Costa Coffee, a chain here that makes a mean cappuccino - none of that instant Nescafé stuff - we went back for another full day of diving.
You guys...I think I might be addicted. Diving is amazing.
I can't get enough of it, floating around in an underwater world that only the certified are able to see and enjoy ;) I'm thinking of doing my advanced course soon so that I can do more advanced dives like deep ones in underwater caves and wreck dives...sounds so cool!!
We were all pretty pooped by the end of the day, but still had the drive back to Cairo to do that night so it was no nonsense - we packed up all the scuba gear and packed ourselves back into the vans.
That's another thing that I love about diving: everyone needs to set up their own gear and switch their tanks. Makes me feel like I know what I'm doing ;)
We heard news about a couple of bombs that had gone off the day before, and the American teachers heard about shots being fired where they live in Cairo so we were a bit nervous, but we all arrived home safe and sound. Our drivers knew what areas to avoid, thankfully.
We made a pit stop along the way and watched the news, which showed huge demonstrations in different areas of Cairo - there were seriously thousands of people in Tahrir square - and other towns around Egypt. One of our guides turned to me and said "today, I am proud to be Egyptian. Even though people are bombing each other, my people still go out in the streets to celebrate this day. Makes me too happy"
Well said, my friend.
Unfortunately, there were many deaths in the aftermath of these celebrations, but people were still able to celebrate. I am happy that everyone I know in Egypt stayed safe, el ham del Allah, thanks be to God. Hopefully all will stay safe for everyone in Egypt with the upcoming elections, insha'Allah - God willing.
My Arabic is picking up, little by little ;)