When you travel to foreign places it happens that if you like where you are, you intend on coming back. This intention is seldom made reality because there are so many other places to see and a lot of travellers prefer visiting new places to returning to already familiar locations. Egypt in this case is different for me. I was here in 2008 for a month, very much enjoyed my stay and knew I would be here the following year. After our mid year exams last week we have been given a long weekend. An ideal opportunity to escape Alexandria’s ‘winter’ weather and return to the Golden Chill for more summery temperatures and the beauty of the Sinai. This time I didn’t sleep too well on the bus. It was freezing cold. Not because the airco was turned on too high but the bus lacked any heating! In Dahab all seems the same. The place is still chilled, quiet, warm, sunny and the surroundings still stunning. This time I am in smaller and completely different company and the main reason for my return was to climb what the locals call Mozes’s Mountain: Mount Sinai. Instead of being in a group of ten very cool, entertaining, intelligent, kind individuals who love sun, chill and a bit of action I am now part of an eclectic group of five of which I am the only one who has been here before. During my first visit besides having a sense of chill and cool I shared the love for kif with quite a few members of the group with the result that I enjoyed some good and entertaining smoking sessions. This time I was the only one who wasn’t to fussed about lying on the beach while the others were very keen on obtaining a tan. Two girls from our company, one I know from Marleybone uni both studying at uni in Alex, disappeared after the first day to spend the rest of their stay within the four walls of one of the resorts in Dahab city to chill at the pool. One of those things I never really got: why o why would you ‘chill’ around a pool while there is a gorgeous blue sea a few metres further along? Why would you prefer chloride and all sorts of stuff, that is bad for your skin and your health in general, to a beautiful salty see full of reef to explore and fish to discover? But each their own. Then there is my flaky friend Michau who dragged his friend Stelios along who is in Dahab for sunbathing and partying. Dahab is not really a party place but Stelios is half Polish and is therefore very capable of making a party out of nothing. And then there is me who wants to climb Mount Sinai, hang out with my laptop at my favourite chillery and consume some kif. So I have been hanging out with Brahim who we befriended during our last visit and who has been living in Dahab for years doing some jobs here and there. He is a very kind, very non-threatening guy who has helped me to great kif. I chilled at my favourite chilleries, did some studying and indeed climbed mount Sinai.
Dahab has entered the (short) list of holiday destinations I will keep returning to, insha allah. In different times, in different company.