Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snorkeling in the Red Sea

Friday was my last full day in Sharm El Sheikh and I fully intended to make the most of it. I was planning to meet up with Essam and Marie, friends of friends (as with most of the people I've met in Egypt) that I'd met the night before to go to the beach. They must've needed more sleep than they realized, though, because they slept in quite late. I waited poolside to hear from them, so all wasn't lost. :-) We finally got to the beach and this one was a private beach on the Red Sea (the beach I had been going to was at Naama Bay).

You guys, it was beautiful there. The beach is kind of on a cliff, s
o you walk down stairs and there are different levels of beach you can choose from. All around you you see thatched umbrellas and desert right up next to sea and boats and shimmering water.Since Essam and Marie slept in, we got there kind of late, but it was perfect because it wasn't at all crowded. When they found out that I'd never been snorkeling before, they said I had to do it that day because the reef there is so amazing. They didn't exactly have to talk me into it!

After a couple of technical difficulties in which I figured out how the mask worked and everything, I was good to go. At this particular beach, you walk down this long pier, down some steps that put you right into the (still warm in November) water, and you're surrounded by reef. It was a bit disconcerting at first how you could hear yourself breath, but eventually I got used to it and it even is sort of meditative. I saw huge sea urchins, anemones, clownfish, and all kinds of fish that I don't even know the names of. After awhile I drifted towards the edge of the reef. Whoa. Did I ever tell anyone that I'm really sort of (irrationally) scared of deep/dark water? Yah, that fear came flooding back when I got to the edge of the reef. For a second I thought it was really kind of cool how far down you could see and how the color of the water changed. But. Then I got a little panicky and decided to get the hell out of dodge and back to the pier before I lost it. This is one of those things that I think I could overcome if I did it often enough, but for my first time ever snorkeling, I figured I'd pushed myself far enough.

The three of us were hungry by then so we ate pizza at the restaurant there at the beach. (Add to my list of new foods tried: anchovies on pizza. Verdict: actually good!) The sun was setting and I got this shot: Seems like a pretty nice way to end a vacation from my vacation, doesn't it?


  1. Ya know, you never cease to amaze me with your sense of adventure.

    Anchovies! Wow! You have far more courage than me. :-)

    Love ya,

  2. I'd already tried intestines and raw beef. . .could anchovies really be all that bad?? I figured no, so I went for it. :-)