Wednesday, 13 February 2008
So after a VERY cold, grey and wet December and January, we were all ready for some sun. Any of you who have lived in the the Northern latitudes know of what I speak. So, my christmas present from my lovely husband was a week in the sun in Egypt. Last Sunday we flew from Bristol to Sharm El Sheik at the southern most tip of the Sinai pennisula with Paul's mum in tow. She too was desperate for some winter sun and wanted to warm her bones. She asked very politely on Christams Day if she could join us, and of course we could not say no! It was so nice having an extra pair of hands to watch Maya - but I must admit that Maya keeps proving to be a wonderful traveler. She takes it all in stride and truly loves to meet new people. The Egyptians love babies, so Maya opened many many doors for us.
Sharm El Shiek is pretty much Ixtapa or Miami, miles of hotels and restaurants...developed by the Israelis in the 80's, it is pretty touristy. But, luckily, one of our friends here is an avid diver and owns a house in a Bedoiun village at the base of the mountains a couple of miles behind the resort town...it was magical. (thank you amanda!) We got to meet some lovely people and one night went round to their house for a proper Bedoin meal...and it was delicious. Salma, the woman in the photos above, was very very taken with Maya and it was so nice to see. Each day, before we left for the beach, Salma would make us fresh egyptian bread and then we would drive to beach. The people we met were all so caring and nice, making me realize, once again, that we are all the same at heart. This is the main reason we love to travel, not only to see new places, but to remind ourselves that we are no different than anyone else out there. We hope that we can pass that on to Maya.
About the beaches, for those of you who are not familiar with the Red Sea and the Sinai penisula, it is some of the best diving/shorkeling in the world. The first day we went to a public beach and it was nice...but then we discovered we could drive a National Park and go to some of the best dives in the world from a short swim from shore...then name of the park was Ros Mohammad and it is amazing. As you can see from the pics..no one was around and the beaches were so beautiful.
Some of you hve met my friend Anna, who I met down in Mexico. Well, Anna and her partner Graham came to visit us too, taking time off from the mad adventures around the world. It was great to see her, as I have missed her since she left Bristol. Anna and I got to do one of our mega swims together at ros mohammed and it was something I will never forget. Paul and I too, spent alot of time in the water together, while Maya napped away on the beach under the ever watchful eyes of Nanna! All in all, it was a dream vacation. And we will go back. Let us know if you want to come along!
On a sad note...my grandmother passed away the Thursday before we were supposed to leave. I am very sad, but happy at the same time. Because now I know she is not in pain, and traveling herself. I did have a moment when I looked out over to the mountains behind the sea and thought of her. Then I realized that she was there with us...laughing at the improbability of every understanding Arabic and loving the food. I saw her smiling, laughing eyes right there on my daughter's face, taking it all in. We will miss you Mimi and we are so glad to have said good bye to you.
All of our love, Kat Paul and Maya