This morning I tried falafel for breakfast…not really what I think of as a morning food but it was ok. We jumped in mini buses at 8 am to head to Ras Mohamad National Park to go snorkeling. Once we arrived to the park our first stop was the camp grounds, where there is no camping allowed. Strange, I know, but it has something to do with protecting the environment which is totally understandable after seeing the pollution in Cairo. Next we saw the gate that was built to commemorate the agreement between Egypt and Israel about who Sinai belongs to. One on side it saws God in Arabic and on the other it says it in Hebrew. It is made totally out of cement. Then we saw some mangroves and some funny looking crabs. They had one huge pincher and one little one. Next was the magic lake. We all changed into our bathing suits and stood in a line at the water’s edge. With Sayid’s guidance we joined hands, took 10 steps into the lake, shouted “habibi” (or something like that, it means darling in Arabic) three times and jumped into the water. Supposedly this ritual will make you younger. Grant and Matt Stamper (professor Stamper’s sons) were worried about being any younger so they snuck in an eleventh step to become older. So far no one shows signs of aging in either direction.
We finally made it to our snorkeling spot and had the equipment distributed. I ended up without flippers but didn’t think that would be a big deal. I just had to learn how to use the snorkel because my breathing is not that coordinated usually. I have been snorkeling a few times but this was the best spot I’ve ever been too. I’ve never been in such crystal clear water, seen so many fish, or coral. We swam for about an hour looking at damsel fish, napoleon fish, and trigger fish maybe? I can’t remember all the names but we saw at least 7 different kinds of fish in schools and then a bunch of other fish on their own. Sarah got burned by fire coral on her butt so we headed back to the hotel to take care of her wound. I spent the afternoon laying around and watching movies, taking it easy so my cold wouldn’t fully develop. After dinner Marissa and I did some shopping in the old market. More souvenirs!
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I’m glad Marissa and I went all the way to the old market because until tonight I felt like I hadn’t seen anything except for our hotel. Now I can recommend places to people who might visit Sharm El Sheikh.
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Apparently I had a wedgie while we were snorkeling because my butt got sunburned.