Al-Ahram Weekly Online   6 - 12 August 2009
Issue No. 959
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

All the heat

Mohamed El-Hebeishy enjoys a cool splash in crazily contrasting places

Clockwise from top left: with crystal clear turquoise water, a perfect sandy beach and a panoramic mountain chain in the backdrop, Marsa Alam welcomes its guests with open arms; diving is the name of the game. From the shark haven at Elephinestone Reef to the coral gardens at Marsa Mubarak, and from the playful Spinner Dolphins at Samadai Reef to the rare and shy Dugong at Marsa Abu Dabbab, there is certainly something to satisfy every diver's taste; if you want to try something new, choose to stay in a hut. Only 14km south of Marsa Alam proper, Awlad Baraka Camp offers one of the best "back to basics" retreats in the area; when it's time to take a break, have a sip of the local homemade coffee called Jabena. The Nomadic tribes of Ababda and Bishari call the southern Red Sea area home, but holding on to their wandering lifestyle they always keep a coffee set handy. You never know when it will be needed photos: Mohamed El-Hebeishy

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