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keep in contact as we sailed (and powered) down the red sea and involved going to a café, being first offered a glass of water
planning on meeting at Bluff point, which was recommended then mint tea switching to a hookah, then coffee, more smoking
as a spot for diving, though plans did change for a couple of the of a hookah and finally arriving at an agreement for a car. the
boats due to scheduling conflicts. the red sea has a reputation plan was to follow our van to the start of the convoy but after the
for strong winds, which we found to be true, so while everyone petersens piled in, the car refused to start. so off we went while
enjoyed a great sail, upon arriving at Bluff point the winds the petersens elected to go diving and to try for Luxor another
were so strong no one was able to leave their boat. Chrysalis day. We arrived in Luxor in the evening in time for a carriage ride
(Canadian), Odysseus (Czech), Sorcerer (American/Israeli) and around the city. My driver handed me the reins of Cinderella and
Ofec (Israeli) all agreed to continue on to hurghada, a town off we went. My first time driving any carriage let alone through
known for diving and a starting point for land tours. After an the crowded streets of Luxor made for an interesting ride! the
evening in town celebrating Lauren’s 18th birthday with all the following morning eight of our group opted for a hot air balloon
crew from the other boats, I went with the crews of Odysseus ride over the Valley of the Kings and along the nile. It was a
and Ofec to Luxor. All travel in egypt is by convoy, so we hired great way to see the area and showed just how narrow the
a van and guide, which turned out to be prudent. Mike, from fertile valley is. the desert is endless, there are tombs all over
Chrysalis, decided to rent a car. the transaction took four hours, and spotting some from the air brought more sense to the whole
area. We toured a few tombs and spent the
afternoon in Karnak, the largest temple complex
in the world. Generally the guides we had were
quite good and most welcoming, though there
was the occasional pause when learning some
of our group were from Israel.
Not to BE MISSED
sailing the suez Canal and red sea in company
with cruisers from around the world is an
experience not to be missed: the hospitality
of the petersens was simply spectacular, the
talks we had with the crews from the other
boats were far ranging and made for some
thoroughly enjoyable times. sitting on the
boat in hurghada with boats from all over and
deciding where to go next you realise the world
is indeed open to exploration. As with sailing
anywhere you have to keep an open mind
and be ready for change. We made it through
the Canal and went to Luxor somewhat on the
original schedule. others in the rally did have to
change their plans, which was frustrating, but
they eventually were able to see the sights and
go diving in the red sea before heading back to
Israel and then sailing across to turkey. Cruising
is all about adventure, seeing new places and being
Hot air ballooning
flexible. In these ways and more, the 2008 Med red
along the Nile in
rally was an amazing experience.
Luxor, Egypt.
Sandy Parks is the art director of Blue Water Sailing (www.
bwsailing.com), where this article was first published.
20 YACHTWORLD.COM MAY 2009
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