North and Brothers - Blue Horizon

My third week on Blue Horizon this week working with Tiffa, Line and Rick on a North and Brothers itinerary. As the wind was very strong we spent an extra day on Big Brother and then headed to Safaga to dive the Salem Express and Tobia Arba before sneaking up the coast back to the Hurghada area. There are still sharks at The Brothers and I saw Threshers, Grey Reef and Oceanic White Tips during the 3 days there.

Christmas eve was spent having a turkey dinner and I was required to play Santa (apparently the interns job!!) and give out presents to the guests.

Happy Christmas from the Red Sea

Northern Wrecks and Reefs 2 - Blue Horizon

This week I have been back out on Blue Horizon working with Ahmed, Will and Woolly on the Northern Wrecks and Reefs itinerary.  The clue is in the name. We were in the north and diving on Wrecks and Reefs. During the week we dived Poseidon Reef, The Barge, Shag Rock, Thistlegorm (and amazingly were the only boat to be there for all 3 dives), Dunraven, Ras Mohammed, Carnatic, Giannis D, Chrisoula K,.Um Gammar and Fanous East. A great week with a good mix of diving. The water is currently around 24 degrees and although chilly in the wind, it is certainly still t shirt weather once the wind drops.

Project Shark - Simply the Best - Blue Horizon

This week I have been on Blue Horizon working with Elke and Will on the Project Shark, Simply the Best itinerary. As its name suggests, we went looking for sharks at Big Brother, Daedalus and Small Brother. The guest's decision was to  miss out Elphinstone as there were still plenty of Oceanics at the Brothers.

As per the previous Project Shark trip, we saw Threshers, Grey Reef and Oceanic White Tips as well as a very curious Napoleon Wrass on the Numidia wreck.

As I and two guests were towed by zodiac towards the main boat I looked down and saw the shark 5m below and though hmm, this could get interesting as it appears not to be a good idea to be towed on the surface behind a zodiac as you look like bait being towed on a fishing line. (see video)

This is the last Project Shark trip for this season but I am due to be back at The Brothers in a few weeks time and I hope the Oceanics are still hanging about.

Karnak and Luxor Temples

This morning was spent relaxing by the pool and after lunch I headed out to visit Luxor and Karnak Temples. The latter being the far bigger and more interesting. I did not get harassed at all today in either of the temples so clearly I am getting better at giving off "leave me alone" vibes. I even survived the 6 hour coach journey back to Hurghada at night through the dessert. There are loads of reports on Trip Advisor about needing Police escorts, not to travel at night, getting attacked by bandits but it seemed to be a load of rubbish and we had a very uneventful journey.

This whole trip was made more challenging by the fact I left my wallet in Hurghada and only had limited funds with me with no visa cards etc for back up. I made it back to my flat in Hurghada with 16 LE which is less than £2.

By doing my own thing over the last few days I have maybe not got it all correct but at least can give a suggestion to other going to Luxor based on my experiences and the best way to do things so in my opinion the best way to visit Luxor from Hurghada is outlined below.

2 day trip to Luxor from Hurghada

Day 1
0900 Go Bus from Hurghada to Luxor - Click on US Flag for English. Check times here but book in one of many booths around Sheraton Street - 45LE you can also book the return trip at the same time 50LE
1430 arrive Luxor, go into Tourist Info Centre (100m from bus stop/opposite train station) to collect free Town Map. Taxi to Karnak Temple - 20LE
1500 Visit Karnak Temple - 80LE
1630 Horse/Carriage Taxi to Luxor Temple - 20LE
1700 Visit Luxor Temple - lit up at night no need to pay to go in, just walk (or get carriage) around perimeter and enjoy
1730 Taxi or Walk to Hotel (I do not recommend where I stayed as too far from centre)

Day 2
0430 Hot Air Balloon Ride - 35 Euro (you need to book this in advance though I did it night before)
0800 Breakfast at Hotel
0900 Luxor Temple - 60LE (it is only smallish so 30-45 mins at most)
0945 Visit Luxor Museem - 70LE
1100 Taxi - 200LE to West Bank for Valley of Kings - 100 LE and Deir Al Bahari Temple 50LE
1500 Feluci on Nile poss to include late lunch - not sure on prices
1800 Back to Luxor Temple (enjoy from outside over coffee)
1900 Go Bus from Luxor to Hurghada
0015 Back in Hurghada

If you had a third day I would suggest a train or Taxi trip to Aswan. I was unable to do this myself but it cam highly recommended from guest I met in the hotel

A tourist in Luxor

After this mornings Hot Air Balloon ride, I headed out to Valley of the Kings to look at some tombs. There is some confusion as to whether cameras are allowed (this seems to vary with how much you tip the staff) so I just took photos outside to avoid any potential problems. Entry is through a mini market full of locals selling crap for over inflated prices and unfortunately being one of only a few tourists around at the moment I got regularly hassled for tips in exchange for taking my photo or something. Fortunately I have learnt Arabic for "NO" and that seemed to get rid of them for a few minutes until another one came along. Even with this ongoing nuisance it was a worthwhile visit but having seen three tombs (included in the 100 LE entrance price) I had no desire to see any more and headed back to the hotel via Deir Al Bahari Temple. Time for yet another swim and relax by the pool.

So a mixed day that started very well, eased off and is rapidly going downhill as I approach dinnertime. I am writing this whilst contemplating a box of crackers/biscuits tonight instead of the offerings in the so called hotel restaurant

Hot Air Balloon Ride - Luxor

I am having a week off the boats in order to visit the passport office and extend my visa and do some site seeing. Yesterday I travelled by bus from Hurghada to Luxor, around 6 hrs and mainly through dessert until nearing the end where things became a bit greener. On arrival in Luxor I had a quick look at the Temple from the outside before heading to my hotel. Whilst I have no complaints about the accommodation the food is dire and it is a long taxi ride to the nearest restaurant. Tourism is clearly suffering here as there are about 8 guests in a 300 plus room hotel.

This morning I had a Hot Air Balloon ride which was well worth the 4 am start and 35 Euro. I was picked up from hotel, served coffee on the ferry, watched the balloon get inflated and then took of just as it was getting light.  It was great to watch sunrise from a basket 500m up. We even managed a soft landing with no dragging and I even have a certificate. I was dropped back at the hotel at 8am for breakfast and a swim.snooze before heading out again for some cultural stuff.