Under the sea… Red Sea, Egypt

Sharm’s not really the highlight of most people’s travel experiences but to me it’s like home from home. Most backpackers would be ashamed to admit they enjoy the cushty, all inclusive package holiday in Naama Bay but I’m not a backpacker yet. I love two week relaxation holidays in Egypt. Beaches are man made but the coral drop offs are something awe inspiring. Learning to Scuba Dive is one of my best adventures to date.

I actually learnt to dive whilst on my two week holiday with Aquarius Diving Centre who have a small business on the private beach of a Hilton hotel. It took around 4 days to complete and then we booked another day to go out on a boat and dive. The sites were incredible both on the day out and just the beach itself. During navigation training I found myself hovering over an octopus,who clearly wasn’t happy with my bum in his face and who inked profusely in rebellion to my invasion of his privacy.

Everywhere we looked were Moray Eels, Zebra fish and Blue Spotted Stingrays. The occasional sea turtle floated by effortlessly. Our biggest shock was our face to face encounter with a Guitar Shark, relative of the Hammerhead family. The moment our guide made that sign (you know, the first one you learn as a Scuba Diver) we were all hit by a sudden pang of panic and then relaxed as Mr Guitar Shark ambled by without giving us a second look.

Red Sea day trips are great for everyone. Those that can’t dive can snorkel or sunbathe. Lunches are normally included along with drinks and the last time I went (2011) prices were as cheap as £15 each with all equipment for snorkelers included. It’s recommended you see the underwater world the Red Sea has to offer… Preferably from 18 metres under the surface. It really is a whole new world.

A word of advice, don’t fall for the “camera-safe bags” I KNEW I was being had over, but I still went for it and my camera, by about 10 metres, was submerged in a puddle of leaked salt water. I managed to save the SD Card but the camera was a write off. You’re better off buying an underwater camera, the quality is better than a regular digital camera anyway.

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