We didn't do many trips on this holiday apart from the bus trip Downtown, the Lagoon trip and a boat trip to a nearby deserted Island called Mahmya , which is in fact a National Park.
We were picked up from the hotel at 8 a.m. and taken to the harbour at Hurghada to pick up the boat. As we came to board the boat I stopped and said "There's no way I can get on there!" I love sailing (apart from in little boats where people keep standing up and down!) but this boat was a bit too far away from the jetty for me and I knew there was no way I would be able to jump it. My knee is much stronger now but I still have to go down on my bad leg and wouldn't trust a jump landing on it if you know what I mean. I explained I'd not long had an operation (showed them the impressive scar) and they said "no problem" they just hauled the boat in a bit more and practically lifted me onto the boat! A young couple from our hotel, who were on the same trip, asked me later if I'd had a knee replacement to which I repled yes. When I told them I'd had the operation in February they were amazed at how well I am doing because they just happen to both be physiotherapists and knew what was involved. This pleased me no end because I thought it was taking too long to recover.
Anyway, all aboard, we set sail to Mahmya Island about a 50 minute journey and a very pleasant one, MWM and I spent the 50 minutes sunbathing on the front of the boat and scanning the horizon for dolphins (no luck there unfortunately). As we approached the island we could see that the beach had oodles of thatched umbrellas for shade and thatched buildings dotted about and there were quite a lot of boats arriving. We had to decant into a smaller boat with an outboard motor to be taken ashore and were told we would be left to our own devices - sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling etc until midday when we would be taken back aboard our boat to visit another coral reef for more snorkeling.
The beach was absolutely beautiful, white sand and plenty of shade. You only needed to go ankle deep to see tropical fish swimming around your feet, I went a lot deeper to do some snorkeling but MWM (who doesn't swim) tried the mask and snorkel in about two foot of water and really enjoyed it.
Noon arrived quite quickly and we were back on board for the second part of the trip. I was a little apprehensive about getting on and off the boat by the ladder (I certainly wasn't going to jump in) to go snorkelling but I had no trouble at all and the underwater view was worth the effort. I don't stray too far away from the boat though because I'm not the strongest swimmer in the world but I do like to give it a go.
After about an hour everyone was called back on board to be taken back to Mahmya for lunch. We did the decant into the smaller boat again and were asked to make our way up from the beach to the restaurant. It was just a whole load of tables and benched covered by a thatched roof with a buffet table but the food was delicious.
I don't normally take photographs of toilets but this time I did because what they looked like outside was nothing like what they looked like inside! I was expecting a hole in the ground but it was like walking into the Tardis! Wait until you see the photos you'll understand what I mean.
We had another hour on the beach which MWM and I walked along hand in hand then we sat in the surf relaxing. All too soon it was time to board the boat again for the trip home, we were worn out but very happy. We just had time for a power nap at the hotel before we got ready for yet another evening of eating and drinking and relaxing.
Tune in again for the last part of El Gouna (Part 5).
Read El Gouna Part 1, 2 and 3.