My wife & I (both British Sub Aqua Club divers) have just returned home to Cyprus from Dahab where we enjoyed an eight day diving holiday with Desert Divers. Before travelling to Dahab we had been quite concerned regarding the civil unrest that had made up most of the media reporting relating to Egypt in the weeks prior to our departure. We need not have worried, as there was not a trace of tension in the air for the duration of our holiday. We felt safer walking through the streets of Dahab at night than we would have done on many streets in London.
We were met at Sharm El Sheikh airport by the shuttle bus from Blue Beach Club Hotel and transported to that hotel very efficiently despite the many police roadside checks en route. Setting aside a mix-up with our room on arrival, we enjoyed the first of many restful nights at the hotel. Our room mix-up was sorted out the very next morning with efficiency and courtesy and after a welcome breakfast, we went to along Desert Divers to deliver our dive kit and sort out the registration formalities with Tanis Newman, the proprietor.
The dive guides, Mahmoud (or Barracuda) and Khalid were helpful, efficient and accommodating. Of the dive sites 95% were everything we had been expecting and more, with the one exception being Bannerfish Bay. My wife, a keen underwater photographer, was in her element and I got to see some very impressive walls, the next best things to wrecks for me.
As always, we found the Egyptian people to be most friendly and helpful, although the restaurant “hustlers” and shopkeepers along the seafront were somewhat too persistent at times, but it was always good-natured banter. We sympathize with them for their predicament given that the resort in general was obviously suffering from a severe shortage of tourists and wish for them a return to normality as soon as possible.
Full marks to Egyptair, especially on our return trip to Cyprus. We left our hotel in Dahab at 10:00 hrs. and opened our own front door in Larnaka just eight hours later, with all our luggage accounted for and without having to worry about retrieving and re-checking it in at Cairo.
Our thanks also go to the civil and tourist police for their re-assuring presence during our holiday, we did not feel that it was in any way intrusive at any time.
Would we go back? You bet, in fact, the “return fixture” is already in the planning stages.
Andy (& Debbie) McKnight.Cyprus Sub Aqua Club.BSAC Branch 2496.