After a very long flight and then a long drive, I was a bit jet-lagged. However, when I walked onto our hotel balcony, all of my exhaustion washed away. The Red Sea was very beautiful and the hotel was very nice.
We hired the diving company Sea Guard to take us out snorkeling for the day. It cost us about $60 per person and included a nice lunch of grilled fish and vegetables on the boat. My expectations for this excursion was high. We just snorkeled in the Galapagos and I read that the Japanese Gardens were some of the best underwater views in the world.
The snorkeling was fairly bleak. I’ve read about global warming bleaching coral reefs, but this was my first experience with it. The coral landscape was really amazing and new to me, but all of the colors were a dull white or off yellow. There were schools of fish, but not many, and there was trash on the seafloor. Other than fish, I did see a dead octopus, but it was being eaten by a group of fish. It was all rather grim. This is what I expected to see on my visit.
This is what I actually saw.
After the Japanese Gardens, we snorkeled a bit more along a wall, and that was more interesting. There was interesting coral and more fish to look at. When we were done, we returned to the hotel pool for some drinks and relaxation.
While we were swimming and drinking we met a super jacked tattooed American who we figured out was some sort of mercenary. We referred to him as Blackwater for the rest of the trip. He was super interested in talking to Holly. First a prince and now a mercenary. She attracts all types.
We figured out that he was a mercenary because he told us that he just finished a contract in Iraq. He was vacationing in Aqaba to dive for a few days before he started a contract in Sudan. I refused to engage with him very much, however, he did tell us what the best drink on the bar menu was (tropical mojito), so I guess he deserves recognition for that bit of info. He did tell us his name, but I don’t remember it and it sounded fake.
He told me that he would not go to Lebanon and mentioned he thought it was “too unstable.” I almost said, “thanks to scum bags like you, the entire region is not on the best footing.” I did not say that as that man literally kills people for a living. However, he did become the center of a laughing fit when Samer and some other tourists spotted his obvious boner when he got out of the water.
We had dinner at the Royal Yacht club that night with the highlight of the meal being Sayadieh. It’s a fish and rice dish that Sam will make in the states, but it seemed a particularly appropriate time while on the Red Sea.
Next – Jordan – Day 3: Wadi Rum