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Nuweiba, Sinai, Egypt: The Zen of traveling?

Okay, I don’t really know what “Zen” is but in my context it is being stuck in one place for ten days now and feeling, well, happy/content about it. Now it wasn’t a snap of the finger thing as that I am assuming it isn’t possible to “find the Zen” just by snapping a finger or taking a big bong hit (it might actually be that way, but as my disclaimer of a first sentence states, I don’t know what I am talking about.) My first progression started with getting to the beach area quite happily by making it there without spending a pound even though the bus station is around 10 kms away. Once I got to the beach camp, I was kind of happy about it and kind of let down. This city is much different than Dahab in two ways. Physically, it is more of a beachy place with a pretty wide expansive beach that runs around a small bay. Dahab is a pre-fab city built on a reef rather than a beach. Secondly, while Dahab is more like a modern resort, Nuweiba has a look of despair and an aire of what used to be. It has some similarities with Dahab with the Bedouin pillows and carpet roofed laze out areas, but they are quite run down and have the feeling of a ghost down. There are probably no more that 10-20 people in the whole place as I have seen.

At first, as I walked around, I was kind of blahed and a little disgusted at how run down the place was. I was already calculating the leave time. After a few days, the zenniness started kicking in or I guess it would be safe to say that it started to grow on me. The beach camp that I was staying at is regarded as the best in the Sinai. It is definitely more kept up than the other places and is located away from the masses. I believe it probably gets 75% of the incoming clientele. They have a bunch of grass/thatch huts strung along the beach built on concrete slabs. Inside there is a bed frame with a foam mattress. If you include the nails as furniture, you would say that they are pretty sparse. I like it that way. There is a constant breeze so it stays cool inside even when the sun is a bit brutal. At night you pop open the three side windows (the hut is an octagon) and you have the cool breeze all night. I sleep rather well. Included in the price is breakfast so you get a big plate of fruits and vegetables, an omelette, and a pile of Bedouin bread much like pita with butter, jam, and honey. It’s quite a good start for the morning I might say.

The rest of the day is spent on the hammocks which are on the beach until the sun creeps past the overhang and starts heating up my legs. Then it is time for a quick mid day swim in the sandy cove. There is a bit of reef inside the bay, and the main reef line on the outside. A couple of hours is enough in the crystal clear stuff and then it is off for a shower and some reading time before I fall asleep in my hut. Around mid-afternoon I am up again and can tell by the position of the sun through the thatch roof about what time it is (not time as in the time but as time in the time of the day.) I usually wait until it is one foot above the craggly mountins that are behind the city and which the sun sets. That leaves me about an hour to play in the water until the sun sets behind the desert mountains and another hour before darkness sets in where I almost have the whole bay to myself (for some reason my rumor about sharks keeps people out of the water in the late evening.) I take a swim out into the middle of the bay and just hover there looking across at Saudi Arabia and trying not to dare myself into going for it. The other way I see the setting sky, the mountains, and the city lighting up. There is a few turtles that will pop around to see what I am doing and no shark sightings. After that, I am pretty much pooped and lazily drift back in with the current.

An hour of reading to keep up my quota of at least one book a day ( I started at two books a day, but that just started feeling like a bit much.) Around 8pm I head into the restaurant area to my personal table where I splurge and get some better than ordinary fixings as I am not spending my money on anything else throughout the day. After dinner it’s a lie out on the beach reading under the stars. There is a new batch of puppies that a couple of girls and I are feeding and playing with. After that it’s a few more hours of reading and I doze off without even worrying about leaving as after day 6 I just gave up telling myself that I would leave the next day.

It does help that there are other groups of people like me. An American couple also had great plans of doing this and going there, but in the end they are still here and even our joke about getting ready to leave the next day has ended as they have understood that to fight it takes away from the beauty of it. They even sleep on the beach at night. I am not quite that zenned up to do that, but I am close.

So thats what I am up to. In Nuweiba zenning. I don’t know when I am leaving and don’t really care or worry about it. I am one hour away from leaving Africa (Egypt) and arriving in the Middle East (Jordan). So what can I say? It’s good to be Zen.

Besides, I went through steaming Sudan and dealt with that “Rat Bastard” Immigration guy who I would just like to ….. ZZZZeeeennnnnnn….. Oh it’s nothing, all is okay.



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0 responses to “Nuweiba, Sinai, Egypt: The Zen of traveling?”

  1. Marisa says:

    Sounds like you’re on a real vacation at last.

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