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Thread: Egypt and the Red Sea Trip Report

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    Thumbs up Egypt and the Red Sea Trip Report

    16 days goes really fast when you're having fun! Hubby and I travelled to Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada and of course our first liveaboard in the Red Sea! Below is a brief description of the times we had...

    Cairo is a big, dirty, crowded city that LOVES its car horns. Saw the important sites and really happy to cross the pyramids off our bucket list because I doubt we'd go back and stay in Cairo. Hotel was nice, people were friendly, glad we went now as there are very few tourists so we had the place mostly to ourselves. The Egyptian people were very proud of their revolution and obviously glad to see tourists starting to return.

    Luxor is the opposite of Cairo. Very nice, quaint and smaller city (800,000 vs 22 million in Cairo). Very clean and not a lot of traffic. There are a lot more tourists here though. I guess they feel it is safer than Cairo.? Very hot this time of year, average during the day is 40-42 C (106-110F) but amazing to see all the temples and the Valley of the Kings tombs. We even booked a hot air balloon ride at dawn which was also on our bucket list and we absolutely loved it! (Even though it meant getting up at 4 AM) Hotel was amazing, food was excellent and we'd go back in a heartbeat.

    From Luxor we drove 4 hours through the desert to the coast. Our liveaboard "Excellence" of the Sea Serpent Fleet was everything that was promised. We had an excellent room, excellent food, excellent diving...well you get the idea.

    We were the only north americans on board, the rest being from Holland and Sweden, but everyone spoke english very well and we made some fast friends.
    Our itinerary was "Northern Wrecks and Reefs" going around the Sinai peninsula to take in Ras Mohammed Marine Park (amazing), the Thistlegorm, Rosalie Moller, Carnatic, Ghiannis D, and Dunraven wrecks as well as Gobul Island, Abu Nuhas and Giftun island reefs.

    We quickly got into the routine of dive, eat, sleep as 4 dives a day leaves little room for anything else. The crew was excellent, always ready with a cup of coffee or a fresh smoothie after returning from the dive, and a meal about 1/2 hour afterwards. Food was simple but tasty, what I'd call standard european fare (which makes sense since almost everyone was european!) They even cooked us a roast turkey for dinner one night and a fresh birthday cake for the evening when it was Niels' happy day.

    The diving was pretty well evenly split between zodiac and off the back of the boat diving. My only complaint was the chilly water! Average temps were 76-78F so I could have used a thicker wetsuit. Hubby went the whole trip with just a 3mm and he was fine though so maybe I'm just a wimp. The wrecks were amazing and the life on the reefs were astounding. Huge schools of tuna, trevally, snapper, puffer (yes a school of puffer!) along with all the smaller reeflife made for wonderful photo opportunities.

    Speaking of photos, this was my first time with my new Canon S95 and FIX housing. No problems at all and am very glad I spent the extra money to get such a great set-up. Photos to follow...

    Last night on board the boat was back in Hurghada harbour as most of the guests were flying home the next day. We were transferred 45 min. to El Gouna for the last part of our trip. This consisted of sitting by the pool, drinking beer and sleeping in. El Gouna is a planned community, lots of resorts, and not very Egyptian at all. Nice place to stop and relax before the long flights home.

    We'd definitely go back for another liveaboard in the Red Sea, hopefully a more southern trip next time for some bigger life, and have no problem recommending Sea Serpent Fleet. They were great at answering emails, very accomodating, and reasonable price too! We'd also like to go back to Luxor and do a Nile cruise up to Aswan.

  2. #2
    Grouper
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    Great report! Makes me miss Egypt.

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    So tempting. Where are the pictures?
    Live, Love, Laugh

  4. #4
    Shark
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    I wondered how Egypt was fairing after the revolution...... looking forward to the pics!!
    God is good, no matter what!!

  5. #5
    Shark
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    Thanks, dawn!!!
    Eager to see the pictures too.

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    egypt 004 cr.jpgegypt 003 cr.jpgegypt 013 cr.jpgegypt 011 cr.jpgegypt 015 cr.jpgegypt 010 cr.jpg
    egypt 002 cr.jpgegypt 007 cr.jpg

    As promised... here are the first few pictures taken with my new setup.
    I tried auto, manual and underwater settings and I think I prefer the manual most. The camera had no problem with focus or lag like my old S&S and the battery lasted the whole day (4 dives).

  7. #7
    Funeral Jorunna
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    How many pics did the battery last for? Saying 4 dives doesn't mean much.
    If you get confused listen to the music play.
    To much of everything is just enough.

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    Good question CC. I would guess that I took at least 200 photos each day, then swapped card and battery before closing it up for the next day's dives. I know there were a few days when the battery showed less than full charge at the end of the day but I never ran out of juice altogether so no telling how many pics I could have taken!

    Here are some more of my favorites:egypt 017 cr.jpgegypt 026 cr.jpg

    egypt 040 cr.jpgegypt 032 cr.jpgegypt 045 cr.jpgegypt 019 cr.jpgegypt 020 cr.jpgegypt 042 cr.jpg

  9. #9
    Funeral Jorunna
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    Thanx for the info and the pics. I was wondering since I was getting about 2 dives using my S95 but I take about 100-125 pics per dive.
    If you get confused listen to the music play.
    To much of everything is just enough.

  10. #10

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