Pyramids and Coral Reefs – Egypt before the demonstrations.
Part two: The Coral Reefs and the need for an underwater camera

Now Hurghada mightn’t have many caches, but what’s there in abundance are coral reefs.
One small (and sadly dead one) was right at the beach of our resort. Just paddle some 30m out and you’ll find the first rocks sticking out of the sand. And although those corals were dead, the fish either didn’t know or didn’t care. Those were there for us to see.
The first tryouts with snorkel and mask were tricky. And me being a Sissi I felt quite cold in the water. So pretty high on my wishlist was a wet suit. Which I got just two days before we left. Well, figures. But at least I have it now for the next trip to the sea…

at the beach
First impressions under water at the beach. Whoa, fish! And so close! It was great.

Even a parrotfish came quite close to the beach. Pitty, that it’s beautifull colours aren’t really displayed on the picture. It was after all just an ordinary camera, nothing fancy.

We had booked a snorkeling trip to Giftun Island and some stops at the coral reefs.
The island was high on my priority list, there was an earthcache there, which I wanted to visit. But I also looked forward to the snorkeling, ’cause the fish at our beach were already colourfull and amazing, I wanted to be out there and see more. At home I have a fish tank with tropical sweet water fish from the Amazon region, a marine aquarium would be my dream but I know how tricky those are to keep. So at least here I wanted to watch fish in their natural habitat.

boat parking at giftun
Boat parking at Giftun Island

taking pictures Finnuala
KS-HTK with his camera in watertight case. He enjoyed using his new toy. While Finnuala claimed to inspect a strange stone, she hides from the camera.

armada of boats
The huge armada of snorkeling boats, looks quite like a city.
And just like a city the beach at Giftun Island became overcrowded. But luckily the Earthcache at Giftun Island could be found without anyone of the tourists or local skippers noticing…

boats all over the place
There were snorkeling boats all over the place. Some had loud party music on, some of the people on the boat never even went into the water.
We stopped at four places to go snorkeling, but at the last and most beautifull spot of all, it was only me still enthusiastic enough to go for a swim. Ah, well, that ensured that I had the most amazing fish all for myself…

damaged corals
Sadly the locals aren’t aware, that by damaging the corals, they’re not only destroying the precious corals but also their income. Tourists want to see undisturbed reefs, not damaged or even dead ones.

black and white
Little black and white fish near my favourite snorkeling spot.

fish on coral
I just loved watching these colourfull fish near Giftun Island.

Elli snorkeling
What do I care what it looks like from the boat? The underwater world just fascinated me. It was calm and quiet with the head under water.
Even though my family claimed they’ve discovered a new species of whale.
Red and white….

Now the trip to Cairo showed, there is no chance of going off searching for some caches when on a guided tour.
So in order to find at least some caches in Hurghada, we booked a taxi at the hotel and went into town.
There were two caches to be found, one actually had been moved by a clever shop owner about 30m in front of his shop window. While we came close to the location, some youth started chatting with us. “Are you looking for something? I know where it is, come on, I show you.” And he lead us to the other side of the road, where we found the box and a shop with lots of tourist merchandise. Scarfs, bags and stuff.
Only with difficulty we managed to avoid entering the shop….

Finnuala was shocked at the state of the houses, lots of unfinished buildings already habitated just went beyond her. But worse for me was the behaviour of the sales men and shop owners. Even if I tried to ignore them and look in a different direction, they would hassle me to come into their shop. If I’d be interested in their merchandise, I’d go in. But mostly they sold stuff I wasn’t interested in.
A nice change of that was the dive shop owner. He was helpful to find a wet suit in my size, but he wouldn’t try to rip me off, and also he wasn’t haggling.
So I got me a wet suit.

We went down to the water edge, where usually no tourists go. At least I asume that, cause otherwise the area would have been more tidy. They do everything for the tourists, even tidy up…
But not at their spot for fishing and just hanging out.

locals at beach
Beach attire of the Locals. It is winter after all.

Hurghada from a cache site…

This is something only German tourists will notice. There were several shop signs, which blatantly plagiarised well known German shop icons and names. Even though these shops had nothing whatsoever in common with the German shops, it was just a fancy trick to get the shoppers inside.

kik in Germany is a cheap clothes shop, here the logo was on a souvenir and book shop.

peter lustig
Even better, Peter Lustig is well known for children and their parents, as he had a kids TV show for over 25 years, where he’d teach them about almost everything. Here in Hurghada this sign invited to shop for shoes and clothes. There was also a sign claiming an Aldi market, which had handbags and stuff for sale. Aldi is a wellknown discounter all over Europe, but this was by no means a part of that chain.

The children wanted to learn windsurfing. So we booked a course for them. And I was amazed, how quickly they managed to stay on the board. The hotel had a small lagoon set aside for the beginners of windsurfing, so they had a shallow and safe place with no waves to practise. It was great fun even to watch.

Windsurfing for beginners. They stay upright, that’s something, isn’t it?

Learning the ropes, Finnuala’s getting instructions.

gegen den wind
KS-HTK surfing against the wind, brilliant. Well of course I’m the biased and proud mother…

I had a anemone fish travel tag activated, before we went on our holidays. In one of the shops I found a cute key fob in the shape of a scarabaeus bug. This I attached to my clownfish and hopefully it will now travel the seven seas. Or rather the tropical seas…. GermanSailor took it diving, so the fish was at least once in it’s supposed element. I just hope, it will continue its travel, at the moment it’s still in Hurghada.

My travel tag is gone diving…