This semester has been terrible for blogging. Every week is something new! different! stressful! time-consuming! and leaves me with no drive, and Adam with no time whatsoever. I think over the winter holiday I may just write up a “schedule” of topics, if nothing else, to really keep updating for our friends at home, and the occasional visitor who finds us searching a variety of topics. 🙂
This winter – Canada and Saba. We’re looking forward to seeing friends and family again, albeit in freezing temperatures (and I have no idea how to dress for “20 at the airport on one end, 0 at the other”); I’m bound and determined to get out and enjoy the snow and cold just because in Canada, we’ll have the magical ability to go back inside where it is warm. Which does not happen at Woodstock (we love you, concrete house). We’re eager to enjoy some snow, do the things we didn’t get to do on the trip back this summer (ROM, AGO), and relax. We’re also looking forward to Saba and diving and a bit of walking/trekking, what can be done there, as a change of pace.
However, we had been scheming to take a road trip to Ottawa (so I could go skate on the Rideau Canal), maybe up to Montreal and Quebec City. That is going to have to get put on the sidelines, because we were just handed an amazing opportunity that we can’t quibble with at all:
We had thought we would go to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos next summer – maybe dive, but go play tourist over there. We have to travel somewhere or we lose our home leave benefit, so… we’d go hop to Southeast Asia. And instead, a conversation about the past winter’s diving in the Andamans with a friend yielded up the info that they’re going to Egypt, and might we want to join them?
So now, Egypt is suddenly in the cards, staring us in the face. Cairo and Aswan and Luxor, the Sinai Peninsula and diving (or snorkelling) in the Red Sea. Ottawa, Montreal and QC are off the list, and our quarter break plan for Kashmir is wobbly, because, really, how can you turn down Egypt?
Now, there’s replanning, reprioritizing, exploring TripAdvisor, the Lonely Planet forums, and this nifty website called Viator (which lets you see tours/activities in areas, and create a wish list). If four or five of us go, can we bargain down the costs for some of the tours, hotel rooms, and the like? Can we manage to get the cash together to do a side-trip to Abu Simbel, to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra in Jordan? We want our week on a beach to snorkel or dive, but can we arrange to go to Mt. Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery and do a sunrise trek? How long do we spend where – how important is it to do a trip up the Nile on a felucca (one of the small sailing ships), or would paying about 1/8 the price to take a hot air balloon ride over the Nile, and then paying for a train or taxi to take us from Aswan to Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Luxor do?
Just around six months to do it – and thankfully it’s the low season in Egypt – and so we’re starting the plans and budgeting and scheming now, because this would be an amazing trip. And, needless to say, an escape from monsoon!
So – no one tell Adam what the temperature is in Aswan in June-July, okay? Please?