Egypt, Giftun – Boat Cruise to Egyptian Paradise and a Visit to a Beduin Village
Early in the morning we sail a small boat to a few kilometers long island in the Red Sea. Giftun is located about 2 km from Hurghada. We stop at the coral reef, snorkel and watch colorful fish. The underwater world offers barracudas, picasso fish, imperial rays, surgeonfish, parrotfish, clips, huge stingrays, turtles, dolphins and even sharks. Our guide has caught a fish that inflates like a ball and has big spikes from the sea. He calls it "balloon fish". It is of course a brown hedgehog.
But then we anchor at the island itself, which is rightly called the Egyptian Seychelles. Beaches are white, but not sand, but small pieces of shells and corals. At Mahmya Beach, the clear water invites us to cool down. There is nothing else on the island except the bars. It used to be a military area and today it attracts crowds of tourists. No wonder, indeed, it is a small paradise on earth, but it is important to protect. The island and surrounding corals are now part of the national park.
Around lunch we are moving back to shore. There is a jeep waiting for us to take us towards the desert. This is followed by a desert desert and surrounding mountains to a Bedouin village where Bedouins bake pancakes and offer traditional products such as spices and jewelry. We too taste and buy a smaller souvenir. All Bedouins are beautifully dressed, most have a veiled face. Young girl showing off how to weave a carpet. Small children are jumping around and men resting at a hookah. With our guide, we walk around the village and explain how locals live, where they draw water and where they have food. There are only a few huts where Bedouins live. For those interested there is a camel ride. We are lucky, our camels are smaller in size and not as dirty as those we could ride in neighboring Tunisia. After dinner, Bedouins play musical instruments, sing and invite guests to dance.
The day says goodbye to us and we can watch the sunset in the desert. We are heading back to civilization and wondering if we could also live without the conveniences of our time.
Text and photos: Veronika Kocmanová
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