Egypt, Dahab a slow traveler’s paradise

January 2 – February 28, 2021

Catching up on the blog. Here’s a recap of the two months we spent in a little bohemian town in Egypt at the beginning of the year. Hope you enjoy, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Dahab

We’ve been Nomads for six years now, the first five, we lived in our truck camper driving from Alaska to Argentina. Since we sold our home on wheels in July 2020, we have been learning to adjust to a new way of traveling.

When visiting a new country we certainly like to see the main attractions but it can be exhausting to always be on the move, finding a place where we can spend longer periods of time, like we did in Kas, Turkey can sometimes be challenging but when we do, it’s magical!

After visiting the pyramids in Cairo, cruising the Nile river in a dahabiya and spending the holidays in resort towns along the Red Sea, we were more than ready to put down our carryons for a while. Dahab turned out to be the perfect place.

A charming little beach town in the southeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula, idyllically situated between desert mountains, ancient palm tree gardens and the Red Sea.

From a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab has gradually changed into the easy-going hotspot it is today. Many come for the world class scuba and free diving, others for the bohemian vibe, yoga studios, great restaurants and cafés, accommodations for every budget, desert adventures or cheap cost of living.

We didn’t really know what to expect but we quickly felt comfortable and ended up falling in love with the place.

Downtown Dahab where Jeeps, ATVs, bicycles and camels are the preferred modes of transport
While the summers are scorching hot, we found it perfect in January and February, mostly sunny, sometimes windy, comfortable during the day but we had to wear a jacket in the evening. Since it’s located in the desert it never rains except for once during our stay and it brought flooding in some areas and water damage through leaky roofs.
Our little piece of paradise

Dar Dahab

Waking up everyday day with the sound of the waves from the Red Sea, was pure magic. Dar Dahab is a beautiful small hotel/apartment complex owned and managed by a wonderful Egyptian-Swiss lady named Madame Nahed. With the help of a family friend architect, she has created an eco-friendly retreat using local materials throughout such as palm tree furniture, henna lamps and salt bricks from the Oasis of Siwa.

Located in the Assalah neighborhood, at the edge of the village, it’s close enough to do everything on foot or even better on a bicycle and far enough from the busier Light House neighborhood where most of the restaurants and bars are located.

How did we end up in Dahab?

Meet Brigitte, wanderer, adventurer, spiritual and loving Diva.

She’s the reason we ended up in Dahab and why we stayed for so long.

I met her through a french Canadian women facebook travel group (Les voyageuses du Québec). She has been living in Dahab for five years and knows everything about it. She organizes tours in the desert and has tons of connections.

She found us a great apartment at Dar Dahab, on our first day we walked the whole town together and she showed us where to go for groceries, coffee, ATM, bakery, the best restaurants, bike rental etc. and of course we became great friends

Annual Camel Race

Talk about off the beaten path!!!

We were lucky enough, thanks to our friend Brigitte, to attend the Annual Sinai Desert Camel Race, which is for the Bedouin tribes of the Sinai one of their biggest and most anticipated event of the year.

A 100 year old Bedouin tradition.

We left the day before the race to set up camp deep in the south Sinai desert only accessible by 4×4, so we could be there bright an early to witness one of the wildest experience we ever had.

The dust, the speed, the terrain and most important, young boys, representing their tribes, running their camels as hard as they can while trucks and landcruisers swarm about driving like maniacs.

30km of running full tilt, hard to believe unless you are there! Thanks to Beit Barakat for this crazy adventure 🐪🐪🐪🐪🐪

New Friends

Joe and I have been married for 22 years, therefore we’ve never experienced on line dating but somehow I think we can relate.

As Nomads, meeting new friends is kind of like dating lol.

We first connect through Facebook travel groups then we start messaging each other and if there’s a bit of a connection we make plans to meet in person. Just like a blind date, you get excited, then you worry about what if we don’t like each other or worst, what if they’re trumpers lol?

That’s how we met Scott and Kelly,

When we were overlanding through Latin America one of our favorite thing was to meet other travelers, now it seems harder, especially during covid times, but that all changed when we met Scott and Kelly from Scott and Kelly’s Excellent Adventure.

It was love at first site!

We invited them to our apartment for coffee which turned into happy hour at the local bar followed by dinner. From that point on we were inseparable.

Joe and Scott biked while Kelly and I went to yoga classes. We shared countless meals at different restaurants, we stayed up late together to watch the inauguration on tv, and toasted with champagne to celebrate the first women VP.

We took unforgettable trips to the desert, Scott motivated me to get my Advanced scuba diving certification. It was nice to be able to swap stories with like minded people who understood and shared the same lifestyle.

Update: after almost 2 years of full-time travels, Scott and Kelly have decided to go their separate ways. Kelly went back home to the US and Scott is still wandering the world, you can follow his journey on is new blog The wind at my back.

Trip to Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine

Another trip to the Sinai Desert organized by Brigitte, that left us speechless.

We were picked up by Fayed our Bedouin driver in his cool Toyota Land Cruiser Troopy.

Our final destination was the small town of Saint Catherine famous for it’s Monastery and Mount Sinai aka Moses Mountain.

Along the way we made a few stops in the desert to enjoy beautiful sites and have lunch, Bedouin style. Fayed made bread from scratch and baked it directly into the fire while siping tea and smoking shisha.

After multiple police and military check points we made it to Saint Catherine located at an altitude of 1500 meters, it was considerably colder than Dahab. We stayed at Sheikh Mousa Bedouin Camp where we were very happy to have heaters in our rooms.
Salah, the charismatic and visionary owner of the camp took us in the back of his pickup truck to his farm to show us his garden and the future site of a restaurant and camp where he wants to welcome people from all over the world and provide for his community.
The Monastery was closed because of Covid but we were lucky enough to be able to walk through a small area and have a feel for this special UNESCO Site. It’s the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries!

Blue Hole, Abu Galum and Blue Lagoon

Perfect day, beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather, good friends and a few encounters with locals girls.

It could not have been any better except for the fact that Joe stayed home because his hip has been bothering him and he knew that getting in and out of a jeep, a boat and sitting in the back of a pick up truck was not ideal.

We visited Dahab’s infamous Blue Hole, then took a boat to Abu Galum where we snorkeled over a beautiful reef filled with multicolored fish, coral and clams then on to the main attraction: the Blue Lagoon for lunch and an afternoon of swimming, lounging and drinking tea … Life is good!

Back to the US

Our last stop in Egypt at the El Sahaba Mosque in Sharm El Sheikh before flying to Miami.

On February 28, 2021, after three months in Turkey and three months in Egypt, we headed back to the US to get our Covid vaccines, a total hip replacement for Joe and to renew my passport.

Egypt has been another incredible experience, challenging at times but definitely a country we would recommend to any adventurous traveler. After spending six months in muslim countries, we can honestly say that it’s when you step out of your comfort zone that you start learning, understanding and appreciating other cultures and that is something that can only be achieved through travel.

As-Salaam Alaykum

For current updates on our travels you can follow our stories on Instagram @joeandjosee and Facebook Joe and Josée’s Journey

And don’t forget to subscribe to receive an email notification every time we publish a new blog post.

www.joeandjoseesjourney.com

In 2014 we decided to sell everything we owned to embark on a Journey to discover the world. After five years of overland travel through the Americas driving from Alaska to Argentina, we traded our expedition vehicle for two backpacks …

Let’s see where the wind takes us this time!

10 thoughts on “Egypt, Dahab a slow traveler’s paradise

    1. It sure is magical. Yes many of the old-timers in Dahab told us how much it has changed.
      Hopefully it will retain its character for a little while longer.

      Thanks for the comment
      Cheers
      J&J

  1. Living and exploring thru your eyes has been an education, adventure and thrills of course! Thank you!!

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