BELOW: "Snowy"...a "desert dog" puppy which attached itself to the pack of "Stella", the grey desert dog, and "Ed" a European mongrel...part ridgeback, part chestnut lion, only kidding! All of them are/were rescue dogs from the Hurghadan streets. We brought the dogs with us. We flew them to Holland...then drove them to kennels in Moissac, France, where they were chipped and quarantined for six months. Then we drove them back through the tunnel up North. Sadly only "Ed" is still with us. Desert dogs are essentially wild dogs with a short lifespan....but "Ed" more than makes up for the loss of the other two. We are almost tempted to clone him. He's laidback and adorable!
Above: Some guests getting ready for a day dive. Below: Hurghada and the Straights of Gubal dive maps (also showing some famous wrecks e.g. the world famous Thistlegorm, Dunraven, Rosalie Moller...) Below below: Map of Egypt showing the location of Hurghada.
I feel that I have to go back a bit in time. I've been doing this blog for almost 18 months now. (Crikey...never expected to be doing it this long. I've enjoyed every minute!)
So I'll refresh my own memory (and perhaps yours?) to begin the story of how we moved to Hadrian's Wall Country from Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt.
Back in 1999 I'd somehow found myself staring out of the 49th floor of Canary Wharf....thinking (yet again) that I'd like to see more of the world out there.
Little did I know that resolving to learn to scuba dive in 2000 through a BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club) in Islington would mean that my life would change so profoundly. (The club is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary and Mr.H. was one of its star players. We are going to its ruby party soon.)
I wrote a post about how I met the marvellous Mr.H. here. (Above and below: just some of our wonderful diving staff at the original Easy Divers' Dive Centre at The Three Corners Hotel, Hurghada...)
So in late Summer 2000 I said "goodbye" to Canary Wharf, the City and "hello" to Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt.
We spent three very happy years out there. (Mr.H. had been out in Egypt at least 10 years before I met him. He'd had secure jobs in London especially one at the Barbican. He had been very involved in the birth and early life of the Barbican. By 1990 due to a difference of opinion with a new breed of managers arriving he ended up being suspended on full pay for two years. He, therefore, continued his UK diving obsession....by teaching and diving in Egypt! This culminated in working with a Dutch tour operator and the setting up of a series of diving schools in Hurghada, Safaga and El Gouna.)
Above: One of the day diving boats, which we often used, called "Princess Hend".
To move the diving equipment around we used jeeps and pickups galore. This white jeep (photo above) was my husband's favourite...an old (long wheel base) Toyota Land Cruiser jeep. It's seen here outside the apartments where we used to live...the Easy Divers' Staff House at Mr. Lotfi's...
We had a lovely time in Egypt. We had (and still have) fantastic staff, European and Egyptian, working with us. I'm sure I'll be writing more posts about our time out there sans enfants. ("Without children"...Dare I say that? We do love 'em to pieces but it was good to be a couple before our two gorgeous nippers appeared on the scene.)
I even learnt a bit of Arabic both spoken and written. (Mr.H. speaks "docklands" Egyptian Arabic.) We had time to go up to Cairo often and over to Luxor. There were frequent trips into the desert. Safari week diving trips, restaurants, cafes, souks...you name it, we did most of it. The one place I never made it to was - Sharm el Sheikh - I still hope to get out there. Mr.H. always preferred the Egyptian authenticity of Hurghada. It was initially a small fishing village and now is a major resort...always getting bigger every time we go back. (It has its own airport.)
We still retain a very small interest in the dive centre. It is now based at the Hilton Plaza Resort in Hurghada. We must definitely take the children there sometime soon....splish! splash!