Just back from a week in Hurghada, Egypt with Georgina…

This trip was arranged many months ago by Georgina as we decided that we would need some winter sun in November. As she works for Hays Travel she was able to find a great deal on an all-inclusive package deal with TUI. This was a first for me having not done a package deal before but it was fantastic. If you just want to relax in the sun by the pool this could be the perfect holiday. Average tempertures were in the high twenties and we didn’t see a cloud all week – not too surprising as the average annual rainfall in Hurghada is 3mm !

But package holidays like this are what you make them and we were looking for a bit more than just tanning and consuming the huge variety of all-inclusive food, wine and cocktails on offer…

On the beach

Our resort hotel was the Jaz Bluemarine which was right on the Red Sea. It is huge – has over 1,000 rooms and 20 swimming pools..

The beach runs along a shallow lagoon which with the steady wind made this a perfect place to learn kite surfing (there was even a kite school on the beach).

View from our balcony
One of the 20 swimming pools

Kite Surfing

I had read that this was a great spot for learning to kite surf and on the first day went down to the beach to book in for some lessons…

Having done quite a bit of windsurfing and having had one kite surfing lesson in the UK I was hoping I would quickly get the hang of it – but it proved a tricky skill to learn. After 9 hours of lessons over the course of the week I managed to get my level 2 certificate. My target was level 3 but that required me to waterstart and then plane for 50m in each direction. I was only managing about 10-20m.

My biggest windsurfing sail is 6.5 m2 – we started the training with a 9 m2 kite and once using the board we were up to 17 m2 !

On the positive side the instructor said another 4 hours and I would be surfing independently. My kite control was good but board control and body positioning needed more practice – maybe next time…

Swimming With Dolphins

We booked a day trip to go snorkelling and swimming with Dolphins in the open sea, which was an amazing experience. The trip also included snorkelling on a couple of coral reefs and rides on inflatables being towed behind a speed boat.

Dawn at the dock

It was a full day and an early start – we were collected at 5.30am !

Fun !

Scuba Diving

I carried on with my kite surfing lessons while George went on a scuba diving trip..

Quad Biking In The Desert

Another trip was quad biking in the desert. I thought this would be quite tame but the bikes eventually wind up to about 60 km/h which is plenty fast enough across sand with lots of bumps – enough to bounce you out of the seat if you don’t hang on tight making it tricky to use the GoPro with one hand while controlling the bike with the other.

We went 20 Km or so into the desert to a Bedouin village for camel rides and tea..

Chilling By The Pool

Plenty of time for chilling and tanning (some of the pools were heated like bath water) and taking advantage of the all inclusive food and drink.
I managed to read both of the books I had brought on the trip.

George Chilling

Getting Home..

Caught the coach back to the airport (along with 200 other people), which arrived 3 hours before the flight, only to be told there was a three hour delay. After some waiting around this turned into a 5 hour delay.

TUI then shipped us back to the hotel for a meal where some of our fellow travellers took full advantage of the complimentary beverages on offer…

Mariah Carey (Gij)

Eventually got home 5 hours later than planned, arriving at Georgina’s house in Brighton at 4am…