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Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

We arrived in Egypt to warm weather and a warm welcoming from the locals. The difference in culture was comical to me and was something I expected. Our taxi driver loaded our bags and suitcases on the roof (securely apparently) and began to teach us some important vocabulary we might want to know. He also introduced us to his favourite Arabic music. As we drove to our hotel, it was late at night and obviously dark but there was plenty to see - interesting architecture that was impressively lit.

As much as I wanted to get my camera out, not taking photos on the first day allowed me to relax and get a feel for the place and people. I was also able to mentally record some different photos I wanted to get and could look into different trips into the desert and even to the pyramids!

Just a short walk from our hotel was an area with relatively hassle shopping so I had to document some of the local shop owners and craftsmen. Nothing really stood out to me from this experience, but I have to say that these men really know how to sell! Many of the products were relatively cheap in price so there wasn't anything stopping me from buying some souvenirs. Plus, this gave me the confidence to ask for the photos below. I would've liked to have some video footage but I didn't want to show off too much gear (just in case...).

Next on the agenda was a sunrise shoot at the hotel's private beach. I had my eye on a wooden jetty that was a bit more interesting than the floating, plastic jetties most hotels have. The tide was a little high but I'm very happy with the result. The next morning, I went to the other side of the beach because of the interesting rocks. These made for really interesting foregrounds. Watching the sunrise over Tiran Island was truly amazing. It was a really peaceful moment but quite unusual because of how little I was wearing.

The man that you can see in the photo below was very kind and friendly. He painted hieroglyphics on papyrus paper within the hotel. If you asked nicely, we would explain how the letters of your name could've been interpreted in ancient Egypt. He asked me to take his photo for his facebook profile and I was more than happy to do so. You can probably tell that there wasn't a lot of available light. In fact, the only light I was working with was coming from his small display light. I positioned him so he was being lit from the side and so I could still include some of his work behind him.

Many of our other days were spent the scuba diving in the Red Sea. One of our days was spent on a boat, sailing from dive site to dive site around Tiran Island. The Island is about an hour's boat trip from Na'ama Bay and is home to some of the best scuba diving in Egypt, with crystal clear water, colourful coral and swarms of fish. We shared a boat with about five other families, friendly guides and our fantastic scuba instructor. A buffet was included with delicious food and you're welcome to your fair share of snorkelling if you don't think scuba diving is for you. You can even hope to see some turtles!

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