A Travellerspoint blog

Shukran Habibi


The plane’s wheels hit the ground in Cairo at about 5am. I was out of the airport in about 30 min. This amazed me. That must have been the fastest I have ever got through an airport. Outside I had all the usual taxi drivers trying to get me in to their cabs and charge me 4-5 times what the journey should have been. So I found a bus that went to town. It took about 45min to get to the centre of Cairo and cost me about £0.10GBP. I found myself a room and went out to explore the deserted streets. Then at 8:15am, absolute chaos hits central Cairo. The streets are grid locked the pavements are grid locked. General madness. I finished the day with several hours walking round the Cairo museum.

The next day I went to the immigration office to arrange my extension to my visa and then straight on to the Pyramids in Giza. I got chatting to a guy on the metro who gave me some great advice on how to view the pyramids by camel, but going in the back entrance so costing about half the price. He actually ended up walking me to the place I could book a cheap tour. The pyramids and the sphinx were nice but the best part of the tour was the guide riding the camel. He was hilarious. He made the big stone triangles in the desert interesting and funny at the same time.

The next day I picked up my passport and jumped on a train to Luxsor. During the train journey I caught a guy trying to pickpocket my phone from me. The rest of the people on the train went mad at him. I thought he was going to be ripped to pieces by them. Luckily the train guard arrived and grabbed him and then threw him off the train at the next stop. So while in Luxor I visited The ‘Luxsor Temple’ and the ‘Valley of the Kings’. I found them both very interesting but not as fun as the pyramids. I returned to Cairo on the overnight train and went in to Cairo for the day and then on to the bus station on my way to Dahab. I got the overnight bus so that I would arrive first thing in the morning. Hmmmmm, I should know by now, busses are a pain in the ass. To be fair, it wasn’t the busses fault. It was around the time when Egypt and Israel were not playing nicely together at their border. So the military police decided to shut a crossroads at 2am for 4 hours. So I arrived at lunchtime. I didn’t even bother going to the house I would be living in. I wanted to get in the water. Within 30min of me being in Dahab I was under the sea making bubbles and playing with the fishes.

For the next two weeks I dived every day but one. Then I started my PADI Instructor training. This was very intense course. The day was normally 8am-5pm daily for 2 weeks and then homework. The one good thing was that it was a great detox for my body. Then the exams. As most of you know they went well and I am now a scuba instructor, but they went without their stress and hiccups. One part of the exam was to simulate teaching a class a lesson on a certain diving subject. My subject was on something I had never been taught and had no idea about and to make things worse. Our dive centre could not find the manual we use to teach the lesson. So, I was stressed because it was the final exams, I was stressed because I needed to teach a subject that I knew nothing about, I was stressed because I had no way of knowing what the correct answer for the subject was. So we finally found the info I needed and about five min before I had to present it to the course director who was assessing me. So I winged it. And by all accounts, ‘I winged it good’ apparently my lesson was very informative and interesting.

So we all passed. For the next couple of months I spent time trying to find as much work as possible. Unfortunately due to the problems Egypt has had in the past year the average tourists are giving Egypt a wide birth this year. So I started to email around the globe to try to find work elsewhere. I had several responses from many different dive centre’s. I had a telephone interview and I decided on an Instructor position in Zanzibar. I wanted to stay in Africa for now. For the first time in 14 months I will have a job…. Hmmm, not too sure I should rush these things. So, here I am. Living in paradise, diving in the Indian Ocean on a daily basis, and, being paid for the pleasure. It’s a hard life.

I hope to hear from some of you soon and I will update my next stage of my journey soon.


P.s Sok said hi. He is a tad busy sunbathing at the moment, but he misses you all.

Posted by benhowe2 23:07 Archived in Egypt

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