Egypt: Sinai, Basata

We headed off to Sinai at 2 am, so slept in the mini-bus. It was an interesting moment – when we stopped at the hotel, and guys left to exchange money, several civilian men looked into the open door of a bus, asking in arabic what we are doing and why standing on the street so late. Luckily another aiesecer who was in the bus, helped to manage this – as he told later, they were national security agents, just dressed as civilians…

On the way to Sinai, we crossed Suez canal (I heard so much and wanted to see it, but we went through the tunnel, so it was my imagination that drew an important mark between Africa and Eurasia continents 🙂
We passed many security check-points, as Sinai actually is a kind of less-inhabited military zone, that separates Israel from Egypt. It was fine – waking up several times, I saw an endless desert around. It was actually a mysterious feeling – early in the morning, when we stopped, it was pretty cold, no sun yet, a bit of fog, and just dunes and rocks and dried couple of bushes for a long-long way around…

In this surrealistic landscape I finally got the thought, that I’m in Egypt, in Sinai desert 🙂 Yo-ho! Another great time and place this year.

And then it was a sunrise, our first sunrise in Egypt.

We were actually going to Dahab that morning – along the coast of the Red Sea gulf, on the east of Sinai, we passed Taba, a town from where it takes about 5 km to reach Israel, and Saudi Arabia is just another coast you see form the road. It was so magnificent – morning sun, blue sky, mountains, and shining of the sea in between the rocks.

Lots of construction is going on that seaside – counting for increase in tourists I guess. But some resorts are really unattractive, with just stone hotels and rocky small beaches. So choose carefully if you plan to attend those places 🙂

On the way to Dahab we drove near Basata, Tom wanted to show us the place, small resort where we were supposed to come back after a couple of days in Dahab. But suddenly the realization came, that we actually want to stay in Basata right now, that we needed quietness and piece and relaxation right now. So we drove to Basata straight, and didn’t regret a minute.
IT’S a HEAVEN, seriously.

Blue sky
Yellow sand
Blinking reflection of the sun in the waves of cleanest and most blue water
It is all in the small valley with palm trees and mountains around
You lie on traditionally made cushions in a spacey cane hut, sun is on your face and warm breeze mildly touches your skin…

I can’t tell all the deepness of my happiness when we got there. I was lying, as a plant, simply absorbing all positive emotions, and smiling to the sky. After all weeks of lovely, but gloomy winter time in Rotterdam, this was what I wanted – sound of the sea, warmth, and a week of holidays ahead.
This is us when we just got to Basata

And this is Basata, where we spent that day, a night, and half of next day. What we did? Exactly what we wanted – NOTHING! 🙂
Met sunset

Ate: they have cool home-cooked mini pizza’s; and usual way to cook is that you cook for yourself, just taking any food from the kitchen and signing how much of what you took, to pay at the end. This actually helps to create an almost idyllic atmosphere – no servants and masters, there are no money relations involved, everyone is chilled and friendly.

Dinner can be cooked for you if you want (no meat, just vegetables and fish – happy vegetarians :), and all people then eat dinner together, sitting in groups around low tables and talking about everything. Feeling of a community – there is no one around, just people who live in and maintain Basata, and a couple of dozens of tourists occupying huts.
We actually had a cool talk in the evening about religion, and purpose of it, and differences. We were – a Christian (Geta), a Muslim (Shady), and 2 atheists – me and Tom. It was interesting to listen to perspectives, challenge them – and being challenged yourself.
This is what I like in my life now – I can talk to smart people around, and actually there are much more of them than you might think!

What’s else about Basata

It got a small school, where an english teacher employed by an owner of Basata, Sherif, for his children (who has a europen education and a german wife) teaches others as well. It was interesting to see children arranging their table, speaking mixture of english and arabic, being cute as all children are.
It was a Bedouin woman coming to the main lodge-hut, and selling her bijouterie, small things for women, like necklace, bracelets etc.
In Basata this traditional life of the desert and small village is mixed with ecolodge resort, producing all together peaceful, relaxing and one of best places I’ve ever been to.
Yes, and this is more of Basata 🙂

The next day we were alreday rested, a bit tanned, relaxed, chiiled and happy. Generally happiness and cilling mood were our constants in Egypt 🙂
So next midday, we left to Dahab…

To be continued