Africa

Excursion to the Colored Canyon and snorkeling in the Red Sea

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As the previous day we had not made the climb to Mount Sinai, Mohamed, one of the hotel employees, recommended us to make an excursion to the colored canyon. This canyon is located just over an hour from Nuweiba and, therefore, you can do the excursion in one morning. Samer Aly, the owner, told us that he preferred the Rainbow Canyon, but as it is further away, it is necessary to take a full-day excursion. The next day we went to Petra, so we wanted to rest a little and that's why we hired the tour with the hotel.

There is hardly any competition in the area, so the price was a bit expensive (450 L.E./55 euros). However, when we were told that both the driver and the guide were Bedouins, I no longer felt so bad, because the Bedouin people of Egypt are quite discriminated against by the agencies operating in the country, and today this millenary community has remained reduced to almost cartoon by having to survive from the little tourism that hires excursions locally.

At eight we went to breakfast. The hotel served a fairly complete buffet breakfast from 8 to 12 noon. At 8.30 they came for us and we left in a 4 × 4. We traveled an asphalt road for an hour, but then we went on for half an hour more off-road, jumping through the seats of the SUV. Finally we arrived at an elevated area from which an impressive mountainous landscape could be seen. Raaji, a 16-year-old Bedouin boy, was our guide and we went down the mountain with him to the canyon. Once down, Raaji discovered among the stones a camouflaged lizard. There we stopped to take some photos from afar until he saw us and got caught.

We walked along a meandering and very white throat. At one point along the way we found that a rock had fallen and had left a small opening under which we had to descend about two meters to follow the path.

Although in the distance other small groups were visible, the truth is that we were almost all the time alone there and that made it possible to enjoy the place and its silence. When we had been walking for half an hour, we reached the part where the canyon gets its name. There the stones acquire yellow, white, red and brown tones making really beautiful drawings. In the middle of nowhere, we found a place where you could sit and rest and have tea. We stopped for a while and we had an Italian couple who made the tour with a great agency. The girl sang like a clam there, it was as if the Explorer Barbie had been lost: boat blonde, UVA tan, painted eyes and lips, silicone breasts with a black t-shirt with super tight straps and raucous blue jeans cut in half ass (yes, he looked half ass). There really are people who either disguise themselves for life or do not really have the sense of knowing how to dress properly.

After walking almost two hours, we returned to where the car was. The climb was not easy: it was hot and the sun was very itchy. Upon arriving upstairs, we sat in a small bar and while we drank a cool refreshment in the shade, we enjoyed the views. The beauty of the desert is strange, something so inert and inhospitable and at the same time so beautiful, it awakens in me a feeling that is still difficult to explain.

Upon returning to the hotel, Samer came out to meet us and we were discussing with him how the excursion had gone. He told us that at 3 he was going to snorkel on the reef in front of the hotel and proposed to accompany him. We said yes a little because of commitment, because I didn't really feel like it much. We also went to the room to put on the swimsuit and take a bath before eating and when we first entered we saw the folded towels on the bed in the shape of animals. Although personally it seems a bit shabby, I had already begun to believe that this was an urban legend. But no!

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