We just finished our five day diving trip on the Sinai with Desert Divers. We started in Dahab on the east coast of the Sinai Peninsulu(Gulf of Aqaba) – roughly 100 Km south of the Israeli border. Dahab is a Bedouin town of 30,000 on the East side of the Sinai whose economy is mostly based on diving tourism. The Sinai coast is beautiful. The Sinai desert is more arid and far more mountainous than I had imagined (see photos). It’s not a place you’d want to be lost. The Red Sea goes from light blue to deep azure along the coast. Unfortunately, like most places we’ve been, there is a very casual attitude towards garbage and litter and so the coast is lined with it.

A short jeep trip and a less-short camel ride took us to a place north of Dahab called Ras Abu Galloum where we were based for four days. I’ve ridden a camel before, but never for an extended period of time.It’s nothing like riding a horse. Camels are slower and very deliberate. You typically mount camels while they’re sitting. The camel gets up and sits down in a three-step process that isn’t unlike sitting on the handle of a manual water pump for a few seconds. Also discovered that camel riding is much easier on female anatomy than on male.

Our time in Ras Abu Galloum was terrific. We had a Bedouin man cooking for us and the native food he cooked for us was pretty consistently terrific. We grew to love the flat, soft Bedouin bread and the various dips for it. Two out of the three nights we slept there, we slept in the open desert a few feet from the ocean which was mostly great, except our bodies weren’t accustomed to the hard ground so we didn’t actually sleep that much. The diving was also pretty great. The coast here is the best coral site that I’ve dived and possibly the richest small-fish site I’ve dived. We also saw some larger fish – a large Grouper, some Giant Trevally, a Crocodile Fish, and others. I also did my first night dive which was a treat.

The last day we returned to Dahab so I could complete my Advanced Open Water certification. Cameron got mild nitrogen narcosis during our “deep” dive and became a little over-happy which was entertaining. The certification went fine but we both ate something that made us a bit sick – a first for me on the trip – though it cleared up three days later.

Overall our time in the Sinai was one of the best parts of our trip so far. Our tour operator, Desert Divers was absolutely fabulous in every respect, and our hotel in Dahab, the Coach House was also exceptional. I’ll be looking for an excuse to return some day.

2 Responses to “Camel Diving”
  1. Megan says:

    Costco is having a photo competition right now. You ought to enter some of your photos. I think you have a good chance of winning. I especially like the one of all the small fish swimming around the tree shaped coral mound thing.

  2. Holidays to Turkey says:

    How to survive in Turkey with limited English?…

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