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Posted by: Greg (E.Tn)
Date: July 11, 2018 07:33AM
Just got back from a 12 day vacation to Egypt, which included visits to the Giza Pyramids, Cairo Museum, Karnak, Valley of the Kings, Nile River cruise, Falucca river ride, Hot Air balloon ride over Luxor (Thebes), and to cap it off, a six day liveaboard dive trip in the Red Sea.

I know all that sounds really cool, but it all takes a back seat to one event that took less than five minutes.

Turns out, one of the other divers (and a friend of mine) was a Marine serving in the Iraq War, and a Christian. While in Iraq, he performed several Baptizings of fellow Marines, and since I had never been baptized, I asked him if he would baptize me in the Red Sea.

It seemed to be a fitting place. So he did, and that was the highlight of my trip. :clap:

On another note, the friendliness of Egyptians to Americans was illustrated everywhere we went, from Cairo, to Hurghada and the Red Sea, to Luxor, and back to Cairo--smiles, waves from little children, and I can't remember how many times I heard an Egyptian say, "America number 1," but it was a lot.

It would take pages and pages to relate everything that happened on the trip, but the diving was great (lots of sharks--Hammerheads, Oceanic Whitetips, Silkies), eels, dolphins, and more ocean fish than I can list; The ancient Egyptian ruins of Giza, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings were mesmerizing; and the hotels we stayed in were stupendous--and only one thing actually went wrong during the whole trip, and I would have payed extra for it if asked:

We had the opportunity to ride hot air balloons near Luxor, straight up to an altitude where we could get aerial views of Karnak, the Funerary Palace of Queen Hatshepsut, and the mountain overlooking the Valley of the Kings. That was the plan...…..

However, once we got up to about 500' off the ground, a breeze came up and we ended up sailing over the Nile River and Luxor, and we had to put down in a farmer's cornfield in the suburbs of the city. The owner came out with a curved sickle in his hand and had some choice words with the balloon pilot, who, I might add, was wearing a flight uniform and used English to communicate with the other balloon pilots and local ground control.

It was a good landing, too.

We had armed escort during all of the bus travel from the Hurghada Airport to where we boarded the liveaboard; and armed escort from Hurghada to Luxor. The escort was a Police Toyota Landcruiser with four officers armed with pistols and AKs. They weren't military per se--as best as I could tell, most of the police (even traffic control) carry AKs as standard arms, and even the local town marshal guarded the entrance to each smaller town with a shotgun.

Oh--and another interesting event happened during the diving--we had a dive guide who briefed us on dives, checked the current before we entered the water, then guided us and helped us eyeball neat sea critters. We were down around the 80' level, watching a hammerhead shark lurking about 100' deep, when the dive guide from another group swooped in with about 15 tourist divers, scared the shark off, then started chasing it trying to get closer.

Which didn't work.

Our guide went off on him--he got in the other guy's face, and they were wildly gesticulating at each other, arms flying, and for a minute or two, I thought they were going to start ripping regulators out of each other's mouths, but they didn't.

I had an underwater video camera with it, and I completely forgot to video it.

Stupid me.

Anyway, I will try to post photos later, but I will have to resize them all first, and I don't currently have a means of doing that.

This was my second dive trip to the Red Sea. 11 hour flight, hassles with TSA and security at both International Airports, and a few language barriers.

Would I go again? In a heartbeat. I love Egypt.



Greg (E.Tn)284July 11, 2018 07:33AM

I am envious Greg!!! I have dove many places in this world...

Mikie115July 11, 2018 07:43PM

Thanks Mikie. Photos coming your way, but I have to re size them first.

Greg (E.Tn)63July 11, 2018 09:43PM

A truly remarkable trip. And a trip of a lifetime! Glad you are back safe!N/T

bulletman83July 11, 2018 10:07AM

thanks, allN/T

Greg (E.Tn)67July 11, 2018 03:19PM

Re: Egypt.

olfart127July 11, 2018 02:18PM

Re: Egypt.

jim tn101July 11, 2018 12:36PM

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