TRAVEL THERE: A RELUCTANT TRAVELER
One day as we were planning the trip to Egypt, Bill tried to sell me on Dahab. There’s a certain tone Bill gets when he’s trying to convince me of something he knows I won’t like. That’s the tone he used when he showed me gorgeous pictures of a resort in the town of Dahab. I could tell right away that something was fishy.
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. There was a time when Dahab would have been a mystery. The proffered photo of an elegant resort would have been all I had to go on, but now we have the internet. I could find the same lovely picture of the Dahab Paradise Resort as Bill was showing me, but I could also find a map, which proved that Dahab was way out in the desert. The only thing Dahab was famous for was a Bedouin Festival that died after two years of trying. There was nothing else to recommend going there.
To make matters worse, the US State Department was aggressive in their insistence that Americans had no business whatsoever in Egypt, especially in a beach resort like Sharm el Sheihk and most especially anywhere in the desert beyond Sharm. Fly to and from Sharm and do not go into the desert, their website warned in several different ways. In other words, Dahab was not some place they would recommend for my touring pleasure.
From the get-go, I suggested that if everyone else wanted to go to Dahab, then they certainly should, but I could stay safely tucked away in the Sharm Marriott, with or without Bill. That just wasn’t going to fly. Even though I kept singing the same song up until the very moment we turned in the key to our room in Sharm, Bill wasn’t budging. By then, the awful Good Friday bombing had happened and the US State department was even more serious about their warnings, but my pleas were falling on deaf ears.
Climb Aboard & Leave the Driving to Us
Things didn’t get better. I was told to ride in the last few seats of the bus, just in case we were stopped. Not only was the US State Department worried about my well-being, so was Egypt. If Americans were headed into the desert, a police presence was required, but it had been decided, that since everyone else was an Egyptian, either past or present, (or in the case of my grand niece and nephew looked like they were Egyptian), we could get by without the escort. So I sat in the back of the bus and was told to keep my hat and my shades on. I complied, but I was furious with Bill.
The hour long trip into the desert was without incident, but as we pulled into town I felt like I was in a movie. You know the kind I mean. Someone has disappeared and some idiot goes to the last place they were seen, a godforsaken wide place in the road that you shouldn’t approach without a full squadron of Navy Seals. No one can be seen anywhere in the streets, but you know your hero or heroine is about three frames from a gun fight or a kidnapping. Yep, that’s Dahab.
Thankfully we rolled through the center of town without stopping, passed through a residential area and finally arrived at the resort. For the most part, the pictures on the website had been very accurate. It seemed like a really nice spot – it just wasn’t a spot I wanted to be anywhere near.
Things didn’t magically get better. For the next hour or so I was beyond miserable. I couldn’t even put a finger on all the reasons I was unhappy, but I was most definitely not thrilled to be there. Come back next week and I will make a full confession.