Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beach Break

One of the best perks about living in Egypt is this:

Sinai. A peninsula filled with a traumatic political history, the burning bush, sand dunes, delicious sugary mint tea, and the best diving on this side of Africa/ Asia. So when Jordan, Charlie, Katelyn and I found out that we had a week off of school because of the national holiday for 6th of October (ironically enough, the day when Egyptians celebrate recapturing Sinai from Israel) and because our teachers were going to be occupied in a workshop, it was pretty much a no brainer. With our 75 genay bus ticket in hand and pb, j, and nutella in our packs, we were off!

Thursday night: an 11 hour night bus ride from Alexandria to Nuweiba. Several stops for cookies and other such halaweiat (dessert) including Turkish Delight. For those of you unfamiliar with this Egyptian delicacy imagine yourself eating gooey, lemoney soap. But don't let my description deter you. It's delicious.

Friday morning 5 am: We arrive in Nuweiba in time to drink some tea and watch the sunrise. At 6, we headed to the bus station to try and buy tickets back to Alex for Monday night.

Direct (translated) quote:
"Asalam Alekum, sir. Can we buy a bus ticket from Nuweiba to Alexandria for Monday night?"

"Monday night? People will be living, people will be dying. What do you need a ticket for Monday night for? What is the rush?"


So after gleaning as much information as we could from this helpful fellow, we decided to try and haggle with some taxi drivers and ended up finding one who would take us to Cairo for 50 genay. Terrific. In the meantime, a little early morning shisha never hurt anyone!

7:30 am: We depart from Nuweiba in a mashrua and drive up the coast about 30 km to a little place called Beer Suweir (if you look on the map, it's smack in between Nuweiba and Taba) (and if you ask how we heard about this little piece of paradise- we have Emma Weiss to thank, even though she didn't meet us there). As we are driving, we see that there are not really towns set up but just hotel after hotel, hostel after hostel, hut after hut lining the beach. To our left- mountains, to our right, beach.

8:15 am. We pull up to Al-Tarek camp. Al Tarek consists of a main hut/ cafeteria for eating and chilling, several small huts for sleeping, 2 more big huts for chilling, and some beds on the beach for relaxing.

We threw our stuff into our sleeping hut

And the next few days were spent between


reading (or rereading East of Eden. Ugh, what a novel)


playing (poker, dominos)

wondering what they were doing across the sea over in the town of Hakel in Saudi Arabia

Watching sunsets

and sunrises

Activities which all make for this

A very happy Monica.

Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end, as they say, and Tuesday brought a 9 am class. So it's back to the grind and back to business.

Coming up:

-Watchout, Barefoot Contessa, Monica will be battling with you for your time slot on the food network, armed with Egyptian recipes

-A big move: saying goodbye to my apartment in Moharem Bek and saying hello to my new place in Sporting

-Parliamentary elections: myths, truths, and illegal protests

-Egyptian prisons. Uh oh.


  1. It actually looks beautiful, even though it did not sound 5 star. Maybe I could have done it for a day or 2. Loved the blog and the pictures, but really love you!

  2. love the photos, it looks sooo beautiful (so do you). looking forward to those recipes!

  3. You are amazing and beautiful. I love you!