Well, I had got the morning departure all wrong as usual. We were not leaving Luxor until early evening so we had another lazy morning at the pool. Swim, burn, swim, burn, drink, drink ,drink. What a hard life. It was about midday I suppose when I caught sight of my first Muslim swimming costume.
There were a couple of young teens in one-piece costumes reminiscence of the Victorian suits only a little more modest as they were made of modern fibres and did not cling erotically round all the naughty bits when wet and what’s more they even had and extra skirt or shorts part to cover vital organs. Very strange in the heat, but then without being racist I think I can truthfully say they were probably used to it and at least they could have a swim.
As we were going more or less straight to the airport from the hotel, I laid out my trucks on the hot enough to fry an egg tiles and changed into my shorts ready to go at a moments notice. Luke as usual was being a bit of a prat and I had to practically drag him out of the pool five minutes before the minibus left. Surprisingly enough we made the transport and flight with no problems at all if you do not count the fact we were flying with a cold stone sober Annette who makes Mr. T’s behaviour to aircraft and flight in general seem a little quaint.
At least it was only a short hop of half an hour so I was sure she would be able to hold the plane in the air that long by her usual method of hauling upwards on the seat belt. However, there was one slight problem. I guess that all the hot air tend to lead to a certain amount of turbulence with all the thermal currents. Not to say our flight was particularly rough, it’s just that last time I saw an aircraft flying like ours Guy Gibson was heading for the Mohne damn.
Nevertheless, despite Annette alternatively screaming we’re all going to die (I naturally reassured her, Ah you’ve seen the vicar in Zulu as well) and turning a funny shade of white. The armrest had to be surgically removed before we could get her out of the aircraft. I suppose this would be the last sober flight she made. Good job we never flew to Abu Simbel as the airfield their looked like something the SAS had destroyed in 1942 and they were using prop planes for that flight.
Anyway, we had a sensible guide meet us at the Sharm end and we were moved into our coach for the transfers. Even more of our group were being split up. The men behaving badly couple were off to the Hilton, thank goodness we never went there. The place was so big you would have needed to have been a suicide nuclear bomber to damage the place. I imagine that if you were stuck at the far end you would have needed a taxi just to get to reception. I suspect they used golf carts or some such internal transport system because you do not pay for Hilton quality to have to walk miles everyday in 40 degrees of glorious sunshine.
We passed the boarded up remains of Blair's favourite hotel and arrived at our resting place for the next seven days, Sonnesta Club, twinned with Sonnesta Beach the other side of the road. First impressions were that I was going to hate it. Although the fake camel in the gardens was definitely a class act compared to the Frenchie version in Luxor. As we arrived I could hear some hideous psychopathic disco music blasting out from somewhere opposite the reception desk.
Our guide had warned us not to buy any drinks in the hotel as they were readily available in the town (free bus) or for soft drinks there was a small shop five minutes down the road that sold the same water at quarter of the price. We were checked in and it was by now past midnight and the swirling disco lights and noise did little to relax me. I was eyeing up the fire axe and thinking of adjusting the volume when we were directed to our room through the rear past the pool.
Well it may not have been as big as the Hilton, but it was a good ten minutes walk, we went the pretty way not knowing where the numbers were laid out. The rooms were just like the little box houses you see in all the films about Arab villages on the outside, but had all the comforts of home on the inside. Only gripe about this was that you needed your key card to operate the air conditioning which meant you were always going to return to a stifling hot room even with the windows left open.
Anyway, we had all the trimmings; a huge bed, fridge (complete with door that stayed on), satellite TV, huge shower & bathroom and piles of fresh towels. What’s more even if I leaned right out over the balcony with an ear trumpet, I could not hear a whisper from the damn disco. I think it will be alright.
To finish off my relaxation, Adam came and knocked on the door with a face like thunder; "We’ve got a double bed!" Me and Annette were in stitches, but realistically I could have got all the Nolans in with me (even the fat ones) and still had room to roll about without touching anything vital, so we were far from sympathetic. That would have to wait 'til morning. Things were looking up, there was an old Black and White film on the TV in passable English, Hollywood!!! I threw Adam out and relaxed.
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