Egypt – Dahab, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria & Cairo

Egypt was the final country of our Madventure Arabian overland tour. We took the Aqaba to Nuweiba ferry and it was obvious that the 2 year hiatus in international travel due to covid had taken its toll here because the immigration and customs officials appeared to be bewildered with what to do with us. It ended up taking us 16 hours to clear the Egyptian border process with what seemed to be a hodgepodge of made up rules. Our first stop in Egypt was the sleepy Bedouin town of Dahab, a hippie’s paradise and SCUBA divers’ delight with its laid back vibe and friendly locals. Dahab was exactly what the doctor ordered after that traumatic border crossing and we got our fill of good food, relaxing massages, and happy hour drinks. Madventure was continuing on to St Catherine’s Monastery and Cairo, but we opted to extend our time in Dahab to do some SCUBA diving so we grabbed all our stuff from the truck and bid farewell to those finishing up in Cairo. Our week long stay in Dahab was with Inmo Divers, a German-Egyptian run dive shop and we enjoyed the shore based diving. Sharm el-Sheikh was our next destination and we hopped on a cheap bus from Dahab to Sharm. Sharm el-Sheikh has a lot of charm although next time we would forego the all inclusive resort experience and stay at a simple dive hotel instead. The all inclusive resorts appear to cater to Russian clientele and we were not big fans of the food or beverage selection. Our short liveaboard on the Snefro Spirit was quite good and we managed to squeeze in a total of 11 dives over the 4 day trip, with the highlight undoubtedly being the SS Thislegorm wreck. Considered to be one of the top wreck dives in the world, the SS Thislegorm was fascinating to explore and we enjoyed our multiples dives through the cargo holds. Our last night in Sharm el-Sheikh was at Naama Bay and we vowed to return here for some more diving in the future. Lesson learned not to dive in January because winter diving in the Red Sea is a bit too cold for us! From Sharm el-Sheikh, we caught a cheap flight to Cairo and stayed at a hotel overlooking the pyramids. Alexandria is a short 3 hour drive from Cairo so we hired a taxi driver for a full day tour and really enjoyed what ancient Alexandria had to offer. Back in Cairo, we explored the Coptic quarter of Old Cairo as well as the excellent Cairo Citadel. And just like that, our 83 day Arabia Overland trip came to an end as we organized covid tests to fly back to the US. Both of us really enjoyed our time in the Middle East and could not have asked for a better Madventure experience. Truly the adventure of a lifetime!

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