29 September, 2011

Ain Suhkna

Our second little escape, about two weeks ago, was also to a red sea beach resort, this one a mere 1.5 hr dessert drive away.  http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ainsoukhna.htm

We went with our buds Gerry and Randy and their pup Bacus.  Scott rented a van and drove us.  He did a great job!  Getting to the highway is the hardest part and he managed well, honking to let cars in from know he was coming, averting near collisions, and remaining (at least on the surface) quite calm.  Once on the open road, it was like another planet.  Both in terms of traffic (none) and landscape (think moon or mars-ish appearance).  Nothing but brown as far as the eye could see.

We arrived at the resort and we're greeted by the gatekeeper who went to summon "The General" for us.  A friend of a friend who had set up this booking for us.  A very jovial, little-bit-o-English speaking fella came around to take us into what appeared to be a desserted ghost town.  Very pretty grounds with nice flowers and three pools, but dude where were the people?

It turns out that if peace and quiet are what you are after, this is the perfect weekend to get away (all the local kids were getting ready to go back to school for the year).

Well most of the massive resort settlement was privately owned townhome-style units, we stayed in the same villa rental section.  As far as we could tell, we were one of maybe two groups staying there.  We had to head back into the town itself for supper and enjoyed some delicious Egyptian cuisine.  We were probably the only tourists there at all!

We got up for breakfast the next morning and went to the small restaurant building on the grounds.  There was one other group in the place!  Our free breakfast included 6 rather unusual courses with no options to order, just received as they are placed before you:  1. wine glass of mango tang; 2. basket of toasted hamburger buns; 3. plate with 3 kinds of sliced cheese, sliced spam, and a wee bit of tomato and cucumber;  4. bowl of milk and cornflakes;  5. plain fried egg (scrambled); 6. bowl of fool (beans).  It was extremely filling and rather endearing actually.

Our short two days were leisurely and fun!  Again, the pools were not heated, but we braved them and had fun.  There was one desserted pool right by our place where we had a few races, there was another pool by the beach that we never entered, and then there was the PARTY POOL.  At 11:00 am, whether anyone was there or not, a bartender would come hangout at the swim up bar and crank (really, really) the tunes.  We could not resist and decided to have an early afternoon beer to give the guy some business.  Though we did ask him to TURN DOWN THE MUSIC.  PLEASE.

We also headed into town for supper again (this time Kazzu and her man drove down to join us.  We went to Chilis.  Not as good as back home.  Margaritas with no tequila.  Isn't that just a slurpie?  Salad with dirt in it.  Sometimes crunchy isn't a good thing.  After supper we headed into the mall nearby and enjoyed some of their marketing tactics like "healthy" cookies.  Only if you don't eat 'em.  We didn't eat them but did have three kinds of chocolate bars.  They weren't marked as healthy but they were delish!
I managed to fit in copious amounts of beach combing on this trip - two bags full of shells and rocks to take home as treasures.  There was tons of pieces of coral too!  Now I need to think of a craft project to use them up.  I welcome your thoughts...  

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