Day 9 - Luxor to Hurghada

November 1997

The El Tabia Hotel, Hurghada
Hotel El Tabia, Hurghada.
What a beauty.

A late start and a 'free morning' during which we visited the Luxor Museum. The rest of the day - 1.30 through till 6pm - was spent on a coach to Hurghada. After passing through some craggy, threatening-looking rocky landscape we arrived at the Red Sea resort and it immediately became clear why it's known as the Las Vegas of Egypt. Gaudy, palatial, tacky - any of these words could be used to describe the hotels and resorts here. Our driver didn't speak a word of English and hadn't done the Luxor-Hurghada run before. How reassuring. We did eventually arrive at our hotel after a few wrong turns and circuits through the town, and boy was it worth it!

Laugh? We nearly wet ourselves. I'm sure that a few people were having trouble containing themselves when we clocked the Hotel El Tabia, a masterpiece in mock medieval castle decor surrounded by various shapes and sizes of rubble. This goes for most of Hurghada - to call it a building site suggests something organised, like with foremen and building plans and so on. I didn't see anything organised about this place.

Rave in a cave

In the evening we headed out for a bite to eat at a restaurant called Felfelas, after which we went back to the hotel for a 'rave in a cave'. The manager had been most keen to show off the nightclub under the hotel when we arrived, so it seemed a shame to disappoint him. It was called 'Disco Kazanova'. Hmmmm, great name. We got completely monkeyed, as Andy would say, on Stellas (the Egyptian Stella beer, I remind you). And you know what? It's damn difficult and very painful to eat your own ears off but the DJ did put Coco Jambo on several times and I had made a promise to myself earlier in the holiday that I would not listen to it again, come what may! The noise from the club caused problems for others' ears too, as some of our group had rooms directly above the club. Kali to the rescue.

After rearranging rooms for all those affected, she came back into the club just as we were leaving to go back to mine and Andy's room for a pre-arranged meeting with a full bottle of vodka. "I'll see you there in five minutes!" she said when told about our simple, yet very effective, plan.

Egg on my head

While Andy went to get the hotel key, I decided to climb in through the window which I doscovered was very much unlocked. I launched myself up off the bottom frame and cracked my head loudly on the top frame, giving myself a great big lump with a perfectly straight horizontal cut down the middle. Andy then appeared with a door key. I opted for the door this time. Between us - me, Kali, Andy and Martin - we managed to polish off the whole bottle of Vodka. Kali gave Andy's dodgy knee a massage while I secured myself a back massage. Lovely jubbly, as all we Brits say (according to the Egyptians, that is).

We tried to draw Kali on how old she is, but she wouldn't play ball. I know it's rude to ask a woman her age, but then me and Andy are cheeky sods. My money was on 27 years and so was Andy's which doesn't make it much of competitive bet, all things considered. Still, there was no money riding on it so it didn't matter.