Rammadan on the Red Sea

August 26, 2008 - Göteborg, Sweden

After a couple of day's R&R in London I was back out to the airport for a flight to Gothenborg, Sweden to catch up with Ollie & Annika, and Marto - my old room mate from Perth.  Flying into Gothenborg was an experience in itself - the landscape was amazing and totally new.  The only pine forests I'd seen before were Gunn's plantations in Tassie.

Ollie managed to break his previous PB of 150kmh getting to the airport to pick me up after a bit of miscommunication regarding the right airport!  The next couple of day's were spent having a few cans, catching up and checking out the scenery.

Jumping on the bus I arrived at the small town of Halmstad, an hour south of Gothenborg, Marto's hometown.  Halmstad is an awesome place and what I imagined a typical Scandinavian town to look like with old buildings, a small river and not too many ugly people!  One of the highlights was meeting Marto's parents and having a traditional swedish meal with no shortage of schnapps.

After not enough days I bid my farewell to Marto and headed back to Gothenborg for the flight to London to meet up with Deeds.

After 4 or 5 days in London not  which included a night out with Cridipa, Deeds birthday and a day at the Zim Fest we jumped on a BA flight to Cairo.  We had heard about the new terminal 5 members lounge so we got to the airport nice and early. For once the rumours were true, the new BA lounge which was pure joy. Picture huge LCD screens wherever you looked, gormet buffet, a stacked bar and comfy leather seats.

IMG_4159.JPGArriving in Cairo at night we made our way to our pad and headed out for a feed - the city was pumping with people everywhere.  We quickly found out it was Rammadan - a month where Muslims don't eat between sunrise and sunset.  This would make finding somewhere to eat during the day a mission.  Finding a beer also proved as hard.  With just a few days in Cairo we managed to spend some time at the Egypt Museum - which includes Tuthankhamen's gear, and go for a camel tour around the pyramids.  After hearing bad thing's about Cairo we were pleasantly surprised, that's if you can ignore the ridiculous amount of Pucker Up!traffic and continuous horns.

From Cairo it was a 9 hour bus ride to Dahab -  a small town on the southeast of the Sinai Peninsula.  Dahab is mainly a backpacking/diving spot and that's pretty much what we did.  Deed's did her Open Water Scuba Course and I went for a few dive's.  The diving in the Red Sea is amazing with some great caves and canyons, and unbelievable reef's.  Unfortunately it probably won't be like this for long - in most areas rubbish lines the beach and even the reef, and hordes of tourists trample areas of the reef in shallow water. 

Restaurant on the ReefThe food in Dahab was awesome, cheap with heaps of restaurants lined up down the beach.  Unfortunately, it's a bit like Bali, and we both spent alot of the week on the toilet giving the porcelain a hammering.

After a week in Dahab we were keen to stay longer but equally keen to get to South America.  Heading out to the bus station we stopped off for 2 minutes to pick up our bus tickets at the dive center.  Coming back to the taxi we noticed the driver was acting dodgy, and when we got to the bus station Deed's checked her bag to find her wallet was missing.  With the bus about to leave, and not 100% that the wallet wasn't left at the hostel, we searched the taxi and the driver but found nothing.  The taxi driver took off and we missed our bus - poor result!  Reporting it to Police it quickly turned into a big deal and before long we were at the Station, with the taxi driver (who was now in tears).  Getting on the bus that night we didn't get the wallet back but I'm fairly sure the taxi driver was sorted out.

Rammadan.  Eating with the LocalsOur last night in Cairo before flying to Sao Paulo was a highlight - walking down a back street we were invited to eat with some locals.  With now wrought iron stomachs we agreed and sat down on the side of the road for the usual rice/noodle mix, and bean stew - sounds average but tastes good.

In all Egypt was probably better than what we were expecting.  The local people, in general, were incredible and went some way to changing how we viewed Muslims. 



Arc De Triumph
Dune De Pilat


Paul Anstee:
October 3, 2008
Where are you maggots now? When do you arrive in Canada?

We are thinking about a ski trip to Japan in February - you should get your lazy arses over there!

Did you watch the GF? Lucky result!

Rob and I are doing the Scott24hour MTB race next weekend - going to suffer.

Hope all is well - Paul.
Martin Andersson:
October 9, 2008
It was so cool to see you again, really felt like the old days when we were slamming down the beers in Perth and you where kicking my arse in golf( on the X-box that is:) Come back any time for some more schnapps.. Your friend. Martin
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