05:00am: Wake up in a daze as they blast the sweet, mornful sounding Muslim prayers from loudspeakers all over the town.
05:15am: Go back to sleep with a smile on my face because they are such a beautiful reminder that I am not somewhere familiar.
11:00am: Crawl out of bed because my hut is already 30+ degrees C and the sun is peeking through the holes in the roof. Drink a litre of water to replace the fluids lost partying the night before.
12:00 noon: Connect up with my friends here at camp and crawl into a pillow pit by the Red Sea for a breakfast of Foul (flava beans) and Falafel.
14:00: Leave the restaurant full, happy, and feeling better now that a peace offering has been made to my body after the damage done last night.
15:00: Finally get the troops rallied for snorkeling. Hire the gear for $2 then walk 4KM to a good reef at the end of the beach….
19:00: Start thinking about dinner.
22:00: Drink a redbull to prepare for the coming night
23:00: Go to the club, watch belly dancing, and dance for hours to incredible, high energy, traditional Arab music.
04:00: Stumble into my hut, fall onto a very thin mattress, and dream of crazy adventures to come.
Rinse (shower) and repeat.
I am staying in a place called Camp Alaska (wonder why I chose it? :)) for $4 a night. My accommodations basically consist of a hut made from bamboo and straw, situated on the roof of a concrete building. My bed is a thin mattress on the concrete floor, directly below a mosquito net. I can see the stars out of the holes in my roof, but it is not a problem because there is never rain. It is very windy on the roof, and quite chilly however, at night. There is a nice common area in the camp that consists of a bar and pillows where we drink tea, smoke shishah (water pipes), and play backgammon or dominoes. (The Arabs are crazy about both!). I am directly across the street from the salty, but crystal blue Red Sea, and I am directly in the middle of the “strip” so there is action all around. People ride horses and the odd camel down the street or on the beach as we lounge around on pillows barefooted and drink fruit juices. The sweet smell of shishah fills the air and mixes with the salty mist from the water. There are stray cats and dogs everywhere…and the lucky cats that find my table always get fed. They are not picky, they will even eat bread and hummus. There is music everywhere, some reggae, but lots of traditional music which drives me crazy with passion. With my 2 mates from Columbia and Mexico, we have adopted a couple of the songs that we know by heart now, and dance and cheer when they come on somewhere.
If you have not gathered by the description above, life is good! I love it here, and have made many friends. The touts that stand in front of the restaurants, I once viewed as a nuisance, now smile and give me a handshake/hug when I pass by. They really are good guys, just doing a hard job it seems. I even got my first kiss on each cheek from an Arab guy today….woohoo! (I think)
Sure, not everything is a bed of roses…I am still sick, blowing blood and lots of pretty colors from my sinuses, I have a major infected finger and can squeeze puss from underneath my fingernail, and my ankles are dotted with feeding holes for mosquitoes or other unidentified bloodsuckers….however, I dont think that I would trade this for anything in the world.
I have already been in Dahab over a week and have yet to climb Mt. Sinai, dive the good spots, go into the desert…the list goes on and on. What have I been doing? Hmmmm…..where are those blog updates when you need them. 🙂