Stories

 

Egypt


From the 21st of September to the 10th of October 2013

Over the last three weeks, the presence of Adelina's family and friends was the warm result of her generosity and presence to those around her throughout her life. One by one, we shared what was in our hearts. This union and warmth which prevailed around her during nights and days helped her keeping lucidity and feeling in peace. On September 10th, she serenely left for a new journey.

  

At the last minute, we decided to join Alain and a group of friends on a one week live-a-board diving cruise to the Brothers Island in the Red Sea of Egypt. During our various immersions around Big Brother and Little Brother, we admired the abundance of fish and coral and had the opportunity to spot some gray reef sharks and a hammerhead shark. The cruise was also a great opportunity to explored the Thistlegorm wreck, a transport ship which was requisitioned at the beginning of the Second World War in order to equip the British Army. On October 6th of year 1941, the 126 meters long ship was attacked by two German bombers. Our different dives allowed us to discover different wedges which were still full of motorcycles, cars, trucks, locomotives and an anti- aircraft gun. Fishes and coral which made their home here were the only sign showing that over 70 years had passed since the sinking.

    

On one of the dive, when jumping zodiac, I had a strange sensation in the ear. Two days later, back on the mainland, the doctor of the Sharm el Sheikh decompression chamber confirmed I had a perforated eardrum. With a little patience, the eardrum will reform by itself. It will take a good week before being allowed to put my head into the water with a silicone plug and two to three months before considering scuba diving again. Aside from the feeling of having a clogged ear, I did not suffer from balance problems, pain nor infection. What a good stard...

In order to visit my grandparents, we reached Cairo by bus. During this hectic period, sightseeing wasn't an option and our movements in the city were restricted. In order to control possible outbreaks, large concrete walls were erected on major roads leading to the parliament and embassies neighborhood. On the corner of the street, the grocer allowed people to transit through his shop in order to surround the big wall standing between the two entrances of the grocery store. At any time we could hear helicopters flying over the city. Stuck in the apartment, television remained the only opening on this world which is going so wrong. It was painful to see my grandparents in this situation, but what else can I do than respecting their choice?

    

After a few days in a great chaos, we left the capital city, made a small detour to Sharm for an ear control and reached Dahab. Due to the lack of tourism, taxis, hotels and merchants drastically dropped their prices. Unlike Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and its chill out waterfront cafés is a charming little place. A few kilometers away, the Blue Hole is very popular with free divers and technical divers. Unfortunately for me, my experience of the site was limited to snorkeling.

We then reached Sainte Catherine in the Sinaï desert. At two o'clock in the morning we climbed Mount Sinaï, where Moses may have received the Ten Commandments. From 4:30 in the morning, the black night gave place to a glowing blue sky illuminating the mountains until the appearance of the fireball. At 2248 meters above sea level, warm clothes were essential. We then visited the Saint Catherine monastery where an orthodox church and a mosque were built side by side.

    

We continued this journey through the Sinaï by a two-day camel safari. Accompanied by Sobar, Mohamed and their camels Belhan and Mabrouk, we traveled through the lavish desert landscapes and visited both the White Canyon and Close Canyon. A dry atmosphere, the absence of moon and light pollution combined the perfect conditions for a night "under the stars" which the term made all sense that night. Two days away from civilization, in total silence, what a peaceful remedy to burnouts. It was a magical moment we shared with our two Bedouin friends.

    

We then reached Nuweiba in order to enjoy our last dip in the Red Sea before our trip to Jordan. It took an hour taxi to Taba, the border town with Israel, then another taxi ride to cross the 12 kilometers of Israeli land in order to reach the Jordanian border. Being the only tourists, both border crossing succeeded easily.

Click here to read the following story about our trip in Jordan.

See the album "Egypt - September-October 2013"