The ride up to Dahab was one of my more relaxed times on the scooter , we had a short distance to ride and time on our side a rare combination on this trip , so it was all about soaking up the Sinai with her open display of natural beauty . I rode watching and waiting for the sun to bathe the mountains in different shades of light , It was cooler than usual so the road was far more enjoyable and we took our time to treasure the Sinai .
I had made arrangements to meet up with Ayman from deep blue divers who had organised accommodation and a six dive package for me . Riding into Dahab shocked me , with so many shops , restaurants and hotels boarded up , parts of it resembled those ghost and tumble weed towns found in the old classic westerns . The town looked like some kind of epidemic had hit and the people packed up and ran for the hills . It felt slightly eerie . I was to be the only diver for 5 of the six dives , which in a selfish way was fantastic for me but not for Deep Blue .
I followed Ayman to the hotel to checkin and to drop Victoria and all my stuff off , I grabbed a towel , jumped back into Ayman’s car and off we went to get the dive gear and to go diving . What a great afternoon of diving , Dahab really has some spectacular sites , then it was back to the hotel to unpack , settle in and as the evening brought with it the cool air I set out to enjoy Dahab by night. I took a walk down to the ocean promenade to see if I could remember anything from my previous trip , that now felt a lifetime ago ,that been said it was those very fond memories that brought me back here , to dive once more .
The sights and sounds all becoming more and more familiar as I strolled the streets , the only real difference was that there are just far less people than what I remembered . I started feeling right at home and a genuine calmness came over me . Dahab has such an amazing feeling , it is dream like with the soft lights on the water , the cool evening breeze and the very relaxed bohemian lifestyle . I took a long walk before retracing my steps to a fish restaurant that has the best reputation in town , the fisherman’s bride it is called . A reputation well earned and deserved .
Dahab proved just the place I needed , the diving was absolutely spectacular , on my second day of diving I did two dives that are just beyond belief they are so beautiful . The first being the canyon and the second being the blue hole . I decided that I felt like a deep dive and the Canyon was to be the place . You enter the water swim out a little , start your decent and suddenly you feel that you are in an underwater Cathedral , surrounded by the canyon in this deep , deep blue water that lies almost still , the light fights its way through the cracks in the rocks to give you a sense of spirit and light and a faith that if you prayed in a place like this , God would answer you , the light brings a whole new life to the canyon , you settle down feeling like you are floating in space , you look up the colours and the light just pour into you , your gaze is held , you feel that you could dwell here for an eternity in this place of blue peace , then your time runs out and you have to leave even though you don’t want to , you turn back to exit take a deep breath and a last look before you make your way slowly towards the surface , with your mind trying desperately to hold onto the beauty it had just witnessed , it runs the images time and time again trying to fuse them to your retina . Sadly by the end of the dive while at the 5m safety stop your mind holds only the diluted images it fought so hard to hold , but you are grateful just to have had your time in that special place with whatever image you where able to preserve . What a dive what a place .
My days filled with the splendour , colour and tranquillity of this world that is so rich and full of wonder , it lies just meters away from a landscape that is totally devoid of life and colour except for the odd camel and Bedouin crossing the sand dunes . The world under the blue almost the direct opposite to what lies above the water line , shades of a single colour above while under the sea lies all of the spectrum , teeming with bountiful life , above the sand stretches on for miles with a emptiness that feels like a vacuum in comparison . Egypt’s true beauty lies and waits in an ambush of colour for you , just below that azure blue .
The dives would all capture something to ensure they where memorable and so I completed my dives , reluctant to leave Dahab , wanting another week of so in her company , but Israel was calling , my 11th crossing it was going to be and yet another country I had never before set foot or tyre down , now it was to be OUT OF AFRICA .
Diving done it was time to do a few chores so that I could have my last night free to roam Dahab , so first things first , time for a hair cut and a beard trim , I was feeling a little over grown to say the least , enjoy the before and after , I did. That done I spent time checking Victoria , topped up her oil , checked the water level , tyre pressure and all the other checks I perform every couple of days , she was good to go , just a little dirty and dusty , but her inner beauty unquestionable .
So I spent my last night soaking as much of Dahab up as I could , eating at one of my favourite restaurants on the water , enjoying some voluptuous chilled red , letting the twinkling lights on the water take my dreams into the desert , to set them free to fly and roam as they wished , to cover the places I had journeyed from and to take flight to places I yet had to explore
I stretched out amongst those soft orange cushions , propped up my feet , glass in hand I lay and let the cool desert wind transport me back across the continent I had journeyed , to give thanks to all the countries of Africa that had carried me so safely to this point , to remember the kindness and generosity of her people and take a moment to let her wash me in her night air to seal our covenant that we would forever live in each others hearts , for Africa touches you like no other , offers you a glimpse into lives that stay burnt in your eyes , she makes you better , she makes you human , she returns humility to you and If you allow her to touch you she is unconditional .
Next stop Eilat and then Jerusalem .
Until we meet again , my precious Africa .