Tyra and I booked a day trip from Sharm el-Sheikh to visit the Colored Canyon, a spectacular natural canyon with high walls north of the city of Nuweiba in the Sinai Peninsula. When we were picked up from our hotel, we were driven about an hour away and turned left at the junction to Nuweiba, away from the city. I asked the guide why we didn’t go towards Nuweiba and he told me to relax.
We arrived at a spot in the middle of the desert and were taken to a poor excuse for a canyon. Where were the high walls that were shown in the photos at the tour office? There were rock formations and colors, but nothing like what we were expecting.
We knew something wasn’t right when the guide kept repeating “Look, there are many colors. This is the Colored Canyon.”
When we finished the “canyon”, we had tea with the Bedouin living nearby.
The tour was supposed to last a full day and it was only 11am. We were supposed to have lunch in Nuweiba but instead were headed in the opposite direction towards Dahab. That’s where we knew we were being lied to. We ended up having lunch in Abu Galom while others went snorkeling. We then rode camels on the beach before a quick stop at a souvenir stand in Dahab. This was the exact same trip we had booked for the next day! We weren’t happy. On top of that, when we complained to the guides they were calling us names in Arabic (which I actually understood).
When Tyra and I got back to Sharm, we went directly to the tour office to complain that we were doing the same tour the next day and asked for our money back. I explained that I know the Colored Canyon is north of Nuweiba, the lunch was supposed to be in Nuweiba, and we didn’t even go near that city. The manager kept insisting we were taken to the Colored Canyon.
“Did you go to a canyon?”
“Was it colorful?”
“Yes, but it wasn’t THE Color-”
“AND you got to ride camels and go to Abu Galom?”
“It’s a miracle from Allah!!! You are so lucky! You were only supposed to see the canyon and you got ALL of these things in one trip!”
I gave up. And now you know the itinerary for the excursion we had planned for our entire group of four the next day on Martin’s birthday.