So whilst I have been writing these blogs I have been browsing the internet at the same time, talking to people on Facebook and all that entails… except for today. For some reason and for the first time I can remember, I cannot access the social network. I suspect it is because the wireless here needs a passkey, but that employees have that same passkey and have been social networking more than working. Perhaps. I am unsure whether I believe this, but this is the only answer I have. Either that or there’s a blanket on it, which again sucks as it’s the best form of communication with everyone back in the UK without it costing me an arm and a leg for the phone bill.
Anyways, that is beside the point really. This blog is about the adventures here that Alex and I are having, and so far I like to think that I have been pretty regular at updating and sharing our adventures with you all. I hope that you like these posts as much as I enjoy typing them. I forgot how much I love blogging in general, so when I get back perhaps I will try to keep it up a bit more. She says rather optimistically.
Today’s blog will be shorter than the previous one – mainly because I don’t have a greater time period/series if events to cover.
We started yesterday just relaxing and swimming around in the hotel pool – well, most of the morning that was. We are finding ourselves better in the sun now, and whilst I have a light burning around my shoulders, this is because I wasn’t quick enough at reapplying the sun screen in the heat of the midday sun. It’s been fun though, especially after catching up after the Cairo trip, more so because we were just spending the time in between just relaxing and catching up on the sleep that the coach trip robbed us of.
In the afternoon we went on a quad “bike” [that’s for you Ma, I know they can’t really be “bikes”] adventure in the desert, which was an experience. For those who know me well, you can guess what is coming in the next few lines right?
This trip was the first one that we organised through Thompson, rather than Sharm Club. It was hard to not compare the experiences of the two in terms of travel, how we got there and back. With the Sharm guys we had transport from the hotel to a meeting point with a larger group of people, but there was only a few of us at a time. It was more personal. Thompson’s approach was to fill a coach full of people, collected from the hotels also, and then go straight to the centre where the Quad biking stuff was. At this point in time, I am not so sure I like this coach thing, but then, that’s what the transport across the board boils down too at the end of it all.
So, we arrived at the Quad centre, off the main strip of Sharm and into the desert. We choose to go on the adventure that had the meeting point of 3pm as we felt that it would be better to be out of the midday sun in that sort of environment. [We still made sure to wear plenty of sunscreen]. I have never ridden a Quad of any kind before in life, and Bessie my car really doesn’t help. Before we actually went on the actual adventure, we had to have a safety and training exercise to ensure that we could handle to bikes properly. Which was fine, although I was fairly certain I was going to make a show of myself during this part of the day, however, it turns out that this part was fine. It would be later on in the adventure that I made a bit of an arse of myself. As I say – can you guess what’s coming? Out of everyone that had to do the training and test, there was one girl who didn’t finish [don’t worry, it wasn’t me!], and in the end she didn’t go on the actual ride into the desert. I felt a bit sorry for her companion though, as he didn’t get to go either.
So we weren’t a massive group really, although I think there must have been about 20 of us in total making our way across the desert. The tour was divided into three sections, so drive a bit, break, drive a bit, break, and then back to the main camp. On the second break we got to meet some Bedouin people at a settlement, see some camels and relax under their hospitality. For this journey we also had to have some goggles [mine kept falling down, naturally] and a scarf. We had already bought the scarves when we went to the Old Market which meant I got a pretty black and purple/pink one.
I have to confess I found this adventure the most difficult out of what we have experienced so far. The first leg of the journey was difficult because of how I was holding the accelerator button, which was below the handle bars. I honestly kept wishing for the leg to be over with so that I could try and adjust the way I was holding myself on the bike. This leg lasted about 35 minutes or so, which when you are experiencing pain seems like an eternity. And, as I mentioned above, my goggles kept coming off, leaving my eyes exposed to the dusty environment, which did nothing for my contacts, and I had decided to leave my glasses at the hotel. Good move right?
Not as good as the next move at least. Remember I told you there were approximately 20 or so people in our convoy of bikes? When entering the first camp for the first break… I was the only fricking person to crash my Quad. I crashed into a thankfully empty Quad, which had a knock on effect to an equally empty sand buggy. I bet my family are laughing stupidly at this – only me, right? I nearly went over the handle bars, but thankfully I didn’t, and I was fine. I’m not sure if my body hurts today because of that, or because I have actually been trying to swim more in the pool as I’d like to build up my strength.
My penalty for this crash was that I had to ride first behind the tour leader/guide person on the second leg of the journey. Again, this second ride wasn’t too bad, but I wanted it to be over as I was starting to feel motion sick – for the first time since I was our in Arizona – and I still hadn’t mastered the grip on the handlebars. Again, the ride lasted for about 35-30 minutes, but during the ride we all stopped… because I was having trouble with my mask and the leader saw this and took the time out to readjust it for me. I still felt like a pleb.
On the break of the second leg we met with the Bedouins and learnt about some of their culture. It was here that we learnt that there are actually no native Egyptians to the Sinai region, but that all the workers come here from the great cities like Cairo to find work. And they don’t bring their women with them as it would be too expensive. This means that the Bedouins are the locals, and that really, this is their land. I wonder what they really think of all the rubbish and trash that piles up alongside almost every part of the desert that I have seen so far.
Here we had a special tea with herbal healing qualities. It actually did wonders for my stomach, settled it for the final leg. Alex and I bought some souvenirs here too, as most of it looked pretty unique unlike the stuff that is sold in every shop in and outside of the hotel which was cool.
The remaining journey back to the centre was good – I mastered the grip on the bike which meant that my hand didn’t hurt, and the herbal tea had settled my stomach. The only thing about this journey was that my bike had disappeared! One of the rangers must have used my bike to go to the other camp whilst we were with the Bedouins as we basically refused to pay for water when it had been free at the other camp.
Alex was totally in his element out here though, and he just wanted to go faster lol!
So in all it was a pretty eventful few hours. But I enjoyed them despite the feeling sick. And the crashing. And the losing my bike. But it was all good!
So, until the next time, take care and be safe… and hope the weather isn’t *too* bad in the UK…