well after winning a cruised down the nile on a scratch card earlier in the year and my dinner guest jerry went and died on the first morning of the cruise it was all 'mummified this' and 'death' that and 'dying ... Read More
well after winning a cruised down the nile on a scratch card earlier in the year and my dinner guest jerry went and died on the first morning of the cruise it was all 'mummified this' and 'death' that and 'dying this that and the other' as the poor egptian sailors stuggled to get his body off the boat they bumped into me with poor old Jerrys head & it was at that precise point that i voowed to to start livng my life abit more and to make to the very most of my time left on this mostly sea filled planet-Im only forty seven but seeing that body made me think about life and what it shold be for? MORE PLEASURE So-January. snow evverywhere and im alandscape gardener what to do? There it was staring at me on the holiday briochure Egypt again right price right week right places and some places id deciided i really wanted to go back and do someday- to me this was the filling the gaps tour the finishing off ticking the boxes tour- So by the start of february off i went; cheap inside cabin nothing FANCY slisghtly older ship and A Rock solid BRITISH SOUNDING holiday firm the Thompsons Celebration! The sun shone the boat despite being an bit long in the tooth still looked clean mean and all shiny and pointy at the front end-And definately like it was relly going to take us somwhere special- and so it did.... I'd done the pyramids before -so i didnt need to see them this time theyre just big pointy triangle things anyway! No, for me the main thing was to see the absolutely magnificent and stupedously different carved city of Petra in that fascinating plave called For me this time it was about being able to travel deep into the dessert on a jeep track. to run down asand dune and stand on the very spot where Lawrence of Arabia stood-which of course meant doing the camel ride and posing with all the Arab headgear! Lifes too short i relised that earlier in the year and i was here to spend my hard earned dosh and do the flipping lot!- I did indeed do my jeep ride in the dessert -And i ran down a mssive soft text book proper sand dune but also I saw graffitti actually scrawled by Lawrence himself- and the time on land was juat a total matvel from start to end- But like i say iwas her to do the flipping lot so that was going to involve som underwater things- Tey organised me a iving trip at Soma Bay for just sixty pounds.I began to get nervous . Embarassing to tell you thi but yours truly is scared of fish. I not only cant touch them but i can put my hand anywhere near them I wont go in water next to them and definetly cant stand them flapping about anywhere near me at all- so at the appointed time the more than helpful ships staff walked me personally down to the quayside and they even pre warned the diving peole that a scared of fifh bloke was coming their way and to take extra care of me!
after waiting only a mere minute or two a nice brighly painted minibus with some arab chappie arrive all snmiles and ready to pick me up-but oh dear whwere was the other people -'Youre the only two' they said- Just myself and my travelling companion mark- all the same we got the best full on,nothing too much trouble treatment and as my mate mark was a qualified diver they took him sowehere special and i was left alone with my fear of fish building and the taxi driver telling me to 'ome come'.Down on an idyllic baech a moment later i was treated to an excellent instructional talk by a very charming but reassuringly confident
mulitiligual lady and was given my very own individual one to one instructor -out we went all james bond style in at rigid raider boat at top speed till a mile out and woried about drowning i was invited to 'all in backwards' -back ward says I !.."hat if there some fish in there? "What if one comes near me? the guy reasured me that there were thousands down there and that none would come near me- Whhat! thousand..... of real fish just there! and you want me to fall in? backward? Well sixty quid is sixty quid so scared or not i was gonna get my moneys worth! (im from Yorkshire arent I!) One big splash one sight of the fish the reef,.. the colours and the 'Ooh doesnt it look pretty'- then the fear went! The guide held my hand all the way as arranged and i took to it like well like afish to water! Back at the ship that night it was some sort of special grub night again at the restaurant and all my new friends were highly amused to hear about my fishy adventures all they had to talk about was some big pointy stone things! and 'all the irritating beggars'-.in smelly backwards cairo- (they loved it really) I on the other hand, had been in the different world of a coral reef-and just the day before id done my Lawrence of Arabia imppression and what to say about Petra? better than the pyramids !My tour guide there was marvellous highly amusing and wherever you on land with the celebratio tours-the waiters followed us allover the place and they were always just to hand at all the right moments,ready with the jumbo bags of disinfectant gel-so no-one at all ever got any stomach problems whatsoever and the food on land in egypt was marvellous But the food on board ? No offence Jerry,but it was to die for!Well all i need to say is i put half a stone on Well to hell with it!im on holiday- i had two dinners one night it was that good -& you call me greedy if you like but Thompson cruises are so genuine, down to earth and freiendly that i'll have two of those as well- Cruising the Red Sea is THE thing to do in january-or February the weathers just nice and warm like gentle summers day back home,the flight isnt too long the time difference is negligeable and for anyone scared of rough seas? Dont worry -Flat as a mill pond is all ive got to say- And well organised? you betcha! An old ship? Yes and not huge-no glass lifts or fancy pools but tidy traditional and old time - Everything that you needed was there. They even left a chocolate sweetie on my pillow each night -which got annoying sometimes when i came in drunk, crashed out and woke up with an ear full of chocolate! All in all the red sea cruise is a tight t tidy nifty little cruise route It takles in the Pyramids River Nile lost city or petra-the dessert jeep rides tha scuba diiving what more do you want? ACtually one port in Saudi Arabia would be good but will they lets us in there? seems not? Stil its nice to sail along almost constanly in sight of land- with Saudi on one side and Egypt or Israel the other- Highly recommended! Martin Stephens Read Less