The reference is there, believe me.
Part one of my odyssey (again) started at Oh My God it was early, I needed to get my stuff to the post office as to alleviate it from any Ali Baba’s in the promised land when I arrive, so the shiny stuff went back to the UK (I’m hoping the same fate that happened to all my other kit last year doesn’t happen to this small box of expensive shit) the ALL got punched through (but countless sticky labels from various shippers implored it wasn’t them) by eight o’clock this morning everything that needed doing, had been done and I waited at the front door of the local PO watching the workers inside look outside (not doing anything really, just sitting waiting for the seconds to tick away) a centipede caught my eye and I watched it for five minutes as it tried to hump my shoe (horny little buggers)
Back for a bacon sandwich and a cup o coffee at my pick up point (my local bar just outside the flat) at last, a crispy burnt offering to the gods of travel (if pigs could fly of course) a fond farewell to all and I ensconced myself in the little blue minivan taxi affair that turned up. With a happy go lucky smile (now I’m being sarcastic) the driver bid me good morning and cheerily loaded my bags on the back with the deft hand of a thief in the night. Well he dumped them in the back anyway. And off we sped. When I say sped, we moved away like a phantom friggin jet (I was glued to the seat back for the first mile) so I thought if I closed my eyes I would pretend I was safe. Nope, every time I closed them, I felt we were going to plough into another vehicle.
Eventually we stopped at Limassol and I changed minibuses, fuck me I thought the first one was fast. The second guy must be the new stig as he completely ignored ANY AND ALL driving courtesy.i don’t think the rev counter came out of the red once. Coupled with the fact he was more interested in his nails, or his hair, or the texts he was receiving AND sending, in fact driving wasn’t even in his top five of priorities while behind the wheel. I couldn’t even close my eyes with this one, but eventually we landed (that’s exactly as I can describe that journey) we landed at the airport and I kissed the ground.
Larnaka airport isn’t the sort of place you could spend a day in, but I did. Handing my bags into the secure baggage thingy, I sat at the restaurant and spent the entire time downloading songs and crap for the next two days. It was turn around time for a load of peace keepers too so the airport was crammed to the gunnels for most of the day. As it goes, the wait sort of went off no problems and the security was pretty much what you would think it would be (are you a terrorist?) I did however get a pretty cool gadget for my iPad, a card reader for me camera so that’s all good.
The aircraft to Egypt, well, what can I say. I could imagine it with propellers and a goat and chickens in the back, I haven’t landed yet but I was woken with a meal (and the flight takes only an hour) …..
…..we landed, I cried, but we landed. Passing through the airport to get to the internal onward flights, I found a new friend, he took €50 off me and stuck a stamp in my passport and promised to be back in a minute with my change! About 20 seconds into the minute, I mentally slapped myself. BUT…. He came back and pointed me in all the right directions to carry on my journey to Sharm.
Going through the security again, I was looked at like a naughty boy by the guard who was happy to smoke his funky cigarette, and ask me for all my money. I casually told him where yo go in my best Geordie, then met his mate…..who wanted to be my brother because he liked my tattoo. So Balile is now prt of my family, or am I part of his I’m not sure, but walking around this place is a nightmare, I don’t know what the currency is, is it Dollars? Is it Egyptian pounds or is it Euros? I have three pockets full of shit that no one wants. So pixie dust it is.
Again another departure lounge and everyone is walking towards a LOCKED door trying it so they can be first not the aircraft, as I haven’t seen it yet, I shall reserve judgement AGAIN, and as my driver when I get there is probably expecting some kind of payment, and I know I will not have enough of ANY currency for him. Bugger!…………..
……..perfect take off and landing by Mohammed (I’m not kidding, that was his name) I slept all the way, except for the times when the engines made some god awful noises. Then I sat bolt upright looking for gremlins tearing bits from the wings.
Sharm! What to say about Sharm. Well getting through passport control was a wave through and a smile, waiting for the baggage was a bit eventful, or not! As we watched our bags go around the carousel in the other lounge through the safety glass wall. They looked nice going around and around while three Egyptians counted them and wondered why no one was collecting them. We ,it’s have looked like proper window lockers on the other side. Outside (after the guy with a card for my name winked at me) the driver dutifully grabbed one of my suitcases (the small one I may add) and dragged it to a white Japanese looking terrorist mobile. He didn’t speak any English, and my Arabic is somewhat rusty these days. So I had no idea what was happening. Another BIG guy started shouting towards a group of locals and threw his bags in the taxi and jumped in the front seat,
Well I thought that was it for me, in a foreign country (predominantly Muslim (and carrying a British Army rucksack)) blonde hair, bewildered and now in a taxi in the middle of the night with two blokes, one angry, one I don’t know what he was. Turns out the angry guy wasn’t in fact angel, that’s just how they talk, and he spoke perfect English because he was educated in England and was a lawyer. Couldn’t be nicer, first impressions are bollocks. Halib told me a lot about the history of Dahab and implored me to enjoy my time there however long or short. Dropping him off at his plush hotel, he informed me that mine was just as nice!!!! Lying twat! I was presented a key to a door that was tantamount to a four man transit accommodation from days gone by. The first guy in there had opened the windows instead of putting on the air conditioning, so every biting insect made its way to me. The thrived and fourth guys came in and snored.And snored, and snored, I lasted until three o’clock then headed back to reception to sleep on the couch. Ill pay for a room then shall I
For all the people that mean anything in my life (I wouldn’t be doing this without you)