Ok, I have to give the credit for this headline to finance newsbreaker Pete. Thanks Pete. Dahab is indeed Rehab. The silence, the lapping water, the camels. The obession grows, people. Dahab is a night bus away from Cairo, which in itself is a fairly horrific experience as the bus loads at midnight, a video shrieks till 3am then the sun rises at 5ish over the mountain ranges of the Sinai.
Brigid and I spent a day recouping (me from the bus trip, Brig from a hacking cough that is threatening to become bronchitis) and lolling about on said low lounges in the sunshine, then it was action stations the next day. I bounced limply out of bed for sunrise, and at 1pm my new friend Said and I were galloping up the mountains above Dahab, me on Sultana (think sultan’s wife, not dried fruit), a beautiful, headstrong grey who knows where to go and wants to get there double-quick time.
Forget the idea that Egyptian animals are lame and riddled with sores, this is a tourist town and the animals’ owners know that we won’t ride maltreated beasts, but they truly do appear to adore their camels, horses and even sleek cats and dogs, who laze around on nearby cushions suggestively at meal times, seducing you into feeding them and then hanging around for a pat – unlike Cairo’s scared, mangy animals.
Because my inner thighs hadn’t had enough punishment on a galloping horse for 2.5 hours, Brig booked us in for a sunset camel trek – up different mountains, to watch the sun set the rocky hills on fire. So we entrusted our lives to two small boys who led the animals up to a collection of palm huts where we leapt off our bellyaching animals and walked up to the peak. The moon was full and creamy, the boys showed us their favourite games around the fire as we drank tea, then, when it was truly dark, we remounted our white camels and began the slow, peaceful trek back to the sea, to dinner under the stars and to plan our trip further into the Sinai.