Martin’s Birthday Extravaganza

One of the main reasons our small group of friends went to Sharm el-Sheikh was to celebrate Martin’s birthday. We decided that on the exact day of his birthday we would go on an action-packed full day excursion.

We were picked up at our hotel and transferred to another jeep with four crazy Italians full of energy, singing and laughing during the entire trip. They were great fun. Our guide for the day was Mohammad. He turned out to be an excellent guide.

Tyra and I were worried about going through the same routine as the day before, but Gönül and Martin were much more positive about the experience to come.

Our first stop was in the middle of a desert for a “safari”. In actuality, we took a short walk, a couple of ridiculous trick photos, and were given a quick lecture about the desert.

Desert safari in Sinai, Egypt

Desert safari

Trick photo on the desert safari in Sinai, Egypt

Trick photo

We then went to a Bedouin camp to have some tea and learn about how they live in the desert before driving through a Bedouin settlement.

Bedouin camp on the desert safari in Sinai, Egypt

Bedouin camp

Bedouin settlement in Sinai, Egypt

Bedouin settlement

Bedouin settlement in Sinai, Egypt

Bedouin settlement

Bedouin settlement in Sinai, Egypt

Bedouin settlement

Next, we made a quick stop at an outpost in the middle of nowhere for a bathroom break and snacks. They advertised the “best coffee in Egypt”, had goats running around, and had a boat next to the store with a sign asking “Why boat in the desert?”

Outpost in Sinai, Egypt

Outpost

Outpost in Sinai, Egypt

Outpost

Outpost goat in Sinai, Egypt

Outpost goat

Outpost in Sinai, Egypt

Outpost

From there, it was about another 90 minutes before our next stop near Abu Galom. We rode camels on the beach until we reached Abu Galom. This was probably the unhappiest part of Martin’s very happy birthday. The camel wasn’t exactly comfortable for him.

Camels on the beach at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Camels on the beach

Riding camels on the beach at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Riding camels on the beach

Martin on a camel at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Martin on a camel

At Abu Galom, we all went snorkeling at the Blue Hole, a sinkhole in the Red Sea around 130m deep, surrounded by coral reefs and colorful fish at the top. It’s known as one of the best but most dangerous dive sites in the world.

Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Abu Galom

Many memorial tombstones were carved into the rocks near where the snorkelers and divers have to enter the water. On that day, the currents were quite strong and many people struggled even with a wetsuit and flippers, but I managed to make it through without any problems or extra equipment.

Memorials at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Memorials

Entrance for snorkelers at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Entrance for snorkelers at Abu Galom

We then had a tasty lunch in a restaurant near the sea. I smoked shisha and relaxed before getting back on the jeep.

Restaurant at Abu Galom in Sinai, Egypt

Restaurant

Our final stop was a shopping trip in Dahab. We went to a mall where Egyptian souvenirs, fragrances, and jewelry were being sold. Nothing special, more of the same.

Dahab, Sinai, Egypt

Dahab

Dahab, Sinai, Egypt

Dahab

The disastrous day before was completely forgotten with an amazing day in the company of great friends, capped off by Martin’s birthday celebration later that night. We went to the Hard Rock Café in Sharm el-Sheikh where Martin became the center of attention, and we later found a bar to watch England beat Brazil 2-1 to Martin’s delight. A perfect day!

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