Once we returned to Marsa Alam from Cyprus, Christmas was just around the corner, so it was out with the Christmas decos, courtesy of Jane, and we set about creating a Christmas atmosphere at least in our unit. Outwardly around the rest of the town there was very little sign of Christmas because of course as a Muslim country, it is not usually celebrated at all. We played our Christmas songs on the ipod to get in the mood, and soon enough the big day arrived, and then in a flash, it went again!
It was wonderful to talk to family and friends back home who, by the time we were talking to them had just about finished their day. There were a few tears shed, I must say, as times like Christmas made it feel like we were so far away.
From there it was New Year where we all went out for dinner at a local restaurant. Jaime kept everyone entertained with her particular brand of humour. I am always so very grateful that the guys are all so welcoming of Jaime.
Our break was the next week, and so we were off on the next adventure, this time, with in Egypt, to a resort 20 mins north of Hurghada, El Gourna.
We spent a lovely week up there being tourists, riding on the bone shaker bus, (Jaime’s favourite pastime,) and visiting various places.
It was a lovely resort, with great facilities, with a marina and very expensive ocean going yachts as you will see in the photos. Unusually it was rather cold so we didn’t do any swimming, however we certainly loved tripping around and siteseeing.
Unfortunately there were not too many tourists in evidence, so that was sad for the economy, good for us!
We met some lovely people who Jaime got talking to, and whom we spent a bit of time in the evenings with.
It was wonderful to hear her singing one evening, and all the people around us clapping for her. She certainly has a way of charming people.
We did a lovely little boat trip on the system of canals where El Gourna sits, and so were able to see the magnificent buildings and resorts which are all part of the place. You don’t have to look very far though to realise that the whole place is carved out of the desert.
A highlight for us was ‘Peanuts bar’, where the guys keep telling us to shell peanuts, and just sweep the shells on the floor. Bit of toughy for us, to get used too! They had music videos and wifi so that added to the attraction. We spent many a happy hour there singing, and watching music vids.
Jaime’s education progressed when we visited a local nightclub, and she got to sample her first (non alcoholic) cocktail. Unfortunately things don’t get going in those sort of places till well into the evening, way past Jaime’s bedtime!
It certainly was a lovely break for all of us, Paul got to do a couple of dives, and I got to browse the shops, though didn’t feel inspired to buy much.
So it was back to our little apartment in Marsa Alam for the start of the next 6 week stint. Our next trip is home to NZ for a few weeks in March!