Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, 2011


Back to my holiday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt in March 2011. This was an awesome holiday! We got a very, very cheap all inclusive deal to a lovely hotel called the Hauza Beach Resort. We got there and it was incredibly quiet thanks mostly to the uprising that had happened in January in the country and also partly thanks to the shark attacks that had happened in December 2010. We didn’t care! There was no queuing for meals or drinks, the pools were empty, the beaches were quiet and everything was pretty much perfect.

The hotel was awesome- I loved it! There was a collection of pools that they called the ‘Jungle Pools’ which were obviously more for the kids but it was so quiet we spent most of our time there. We never actually went in the main pool. Because there was a bar at the main pool, that was where the chavvy drunken lot were most of the time so we managed to avoid them. As you can see from the pictures, the Jungle Pools were pretty lovely looking. There were a couple of slides but I was just too much of a wimp to go on them. Brian got to enjoy them though! There was a really nice swinging bridge over the pools too but it was so hot it burned your feet if you tried to cross bare foot. We had a few giggles watching new people try to get across!

Up behind one of the waterfalls, they had some ‘caves’ and in the caves, in glass fronted enclosures they had some rattle snakes etc… for people to go and look at. It was rather interesting.


Jungle pool complex

Jungle Pools

lucy and brian 1

Bridge

Jungle Pool
 

This (above) was the pool we stayed at the whole holiday. It was lovely as you can see.

pool at night

And this (above) was the main pool at night. It was really pretty but full of drunken louts so we didn’t use this one!


Whilst we were around the pool we often saw these huge birds of prey come over. We thought they were some type of eagle. We watched them dipping into the sea and catching fish which was pretty amazing! I found out afterwards (thanks to the lovely bird identifiers of Flickr!) that they were in fact Ospreys. Wow! I had never seen an Osprey before and we were chuffed to bits that we’d seen them there. Brilliant!

Osprey :)

Also on the bird subject… we saw quite a few Hoopoes whilst around the pool. If you look at the hieroglyphs in the pyramids and other temples/ tombs etc… you will often see the Hoopoe depicted as it was considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians. It’s such a lovely looking bird!

Hoopoe

 

So onto the sea… Wow. That pretty much sums up that part of the holiday! We were lucky with the hotel as it had 2 private ‘lagoon’ style beaches. It was great as all the fish were available to see right in the shallow waters. This meant I did not have to get in the ridiculously deep ‘dark blue’ water that was off the ‘ridge’ at the end of the jetty. It was 45m deep right off the end of the jetty! It’s like an underwater cliff edge all along Sharm el Sheikh. Some hotel beaches have the drop gradually though, but ours was on a bit where it was a sheer drop. Needless to say, I could not bring myself to get into that water! Brian did and managed to get a couple of beautiful photos for me. I did try but my body physically would not lower itself into the water, so I stuck to the shallows. As you can see from the photos below, there were plenty of fish for me to see and I didn’t have to go any deeper than about a meter or so. Also, the sharks couldn’t get up over the ridge to get into the lagoons so I was happy snorkelling there. I managed to get a couple of hours in most days. It was great!

The first pictures show the beaches and the jetty, then the deepwater and then my shallow water fish pictures. Also, a couple of shots of me and Brian snorkelling- just for fun! (and to show off my cool camera- Panasonic Lumix FT2, TS2 in USA I think)

beach 1

Beach at Hauza

View of beach

In this picture (above) you can see what I mean when I talk about the ‘ridge’ or underwater cliff face. It is clear in the colour of the water. Also it’s quite visible in the photo below too.

Jetty

Beach from jetty


So here are the underwater pictures, get ready, there are quite a few… The first 4 are in the deepwater or on the cliff edge. (Taken by Brian, not me!)

coral 1

fish 6

fish 7


coral 2

Now to the shallow water fish…

Picasso fish and Needle fish

fish 4

Munching parrot fish

Striped butterfly

fish 2

Parrot Fish 2

Big fish 3

Big fish 2

butterfly fish

fish 4

Butterfly fish

wrasse

There was such a huge variety of fish in the shallows, I found something new every visit. I have many, many more fish photos but just picked my favourites :)


Here are a few more pictures from the holiday that I like the best. Descriptions are above. I have put my Cairo/ Pyramids pictures in a separate post which you can find here.


This is Sarah who we met on holiday. I love this photo! We were messing around with my camera in the pool.

sarah 1

This is Brian posing at the Hard Rock Café in Naama Bay.

brian hardrock

These next few are from a day trip snorkelling to Ras Mohammad National Marine Park. I tried to get in but had a panic attack and nearly drowned so Brian took these photos. It was just way too deep for me.

coral and fish

big eye fish

coral and fish 2

anenome fish

These are the Flamingos that they had at the hotel. They also had Giant Tortoises.

Flamingoes at Hotel

This is the entrance to the Old Market. They call it old as it was built in the 1980’s!

Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Brian and me in the hammock by the pool. These hammocks are really hard work to get in and out of!

Brian Hammock

Lucy hammock

This is a Kestrel that I spotted outside our room digging for worms! I didn’t know they did that. It stayed there for ages whilst I was snapping away it wasn’t worried at all. It is obviously used to guests like me gawping at it in amazement!

Kestrel digging for worms

And this is a Striated Heron that Brian spotted and managed to photograph down at the beach.

Striated Heron



Sorry for the huge post peeps but as I said, I’ve been MIA for too long and need to get you caught up with my year- 2011 has been amazing for me, I hope it was for you too!

Please don’t forget that all these pictures and more are available to view on my Flickr page.

So I'm back....


Firstly, I want to say sorry to anyone who regularly visited and read my blog, that I have been MIA since May this year. I have neglected my site for 7 months! Also, I have neglected your sites too, so sorry! The main reason is that Brian and myself have this year got very into freshwater fishing- (i.e carp, tench, bream, perch, roach etc) We joined a local club back in May and have been fishing practically every weekend since then. I am not joking about every weekend either! We are up about 6am on Saturdays and Sundays and come back as it gets dark. It is fun but less so now it is getting colder!

Anyway, I have a few things I want to catch up on. I’m going to start today with the remaining pictures from my holiday to Sharm el Sheikh back in March this year. It was pretty amazing and I have a few photos that need to be shared. We went to Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza on my birthday which was a great experience. Due to the rioting that had happened just before we went, it was also very quiet as there were no tourists around- just us crazy Brits who don’t worry about a bit of rioting! Also, there had been several (fatal) shark attacks in December 2010 which had led to many cancellations in Sharm.

I also will be updating with pictures of our more recent holiday in September. We took the ferry to Bilbao, Spain and then spent a week at the border and then drove on up to our place in France and had a week there. It was a great holiday and I got some lovely pictures that I need to share.

On top of that lot, I will be putting up *quite* a few pictures of myself and Brian and some fish that we have caught this past year as well as some of the beautiful lakes we have been visiting. Lake fishing is really nice as we get to be surrounded by such beauty and pretty cool wildlife.

So, expect another few posts from me later on today.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Kestrel in Sharm el Sheikh



Here is a post from my recent holiday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

Our hotel room at the Hauza Beach Resort had a garden view. The patio doors opened up onto a lovely grassy area. One morning I popped out there first thing and was startled by this Kestrel, about 10ft in front of me on the grass! I couldn’t believe how close it was. I kind of looked at it for a few seconds and when I realised it was not perturbed by me, I sneaked into the room, put my big zoom lens on the Canon and sneaked back out again to get some pictures.

Whilst I was watching, I realised that it was in fact digging for worms! I was really pleased that I could see this for myself as I had heard once or twice that often birds of prey will dig up worms if they need to. Often times, kestrels feed their babies worms too.

This kestrel did indeed have babies I reckon as we spotted a pair of kestrels either mating or doing something else busy right up in a cubby hole on the roof of the main reception area. I think it was the same kestrel from the garden and it looked like they were on a nest. I didn’t manage to get photos of that though unfortunately.

I was quite surprised by the number of birds of prey we saw. We saw quite a few Ospreys and Kestrels but we also saw a few falcons and some other big birds. It was a nice surprise as I was not expecting to see much wildlife seeing as Sharm el Sheikh is a purpose built place right on the beach. There is literally nothing behind or between the resorts, just mountains and sandy desert.

Anyway, here is the kestrel from outside our room. Enjoy!

kestrel 1

And don’t forget to check out my Flickr page!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Osprey in Egypt

I thought I'd share one of my favourite pictures from my recent holiday to Egypt with you. This is an Osprey. I feel really cuffed that I saw this!

Osprey

We were not sure what it was at first, we just presumed some kind of sea eagle as it was taking fish from the sea.

It flew right over us several times whilst we were at the pools too. Actually there were at least 2 near our hotel.

This one, I had to follow from up at the pool all the way down to the beach so I could get a decent photo. I was so pleased when I got down there and saw him perched on a topless palm tree.

I have never seen an Osprey before so I am very happy with this photo. I had the bird identified for me on Flickr (there are some great people on there!)

I have some more photos of my trip on my Flickr page so go and check it out if you have a spare 5 minutes. Be back soon with more pictures from Egypt.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Picasso fish


Picasso fish 1, originally uploaded by Bemused26.

This is one of my favourite fish from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. It is a Picasso Trigger Fish and was very tough to get photos of but I got there in the end. Actually, I eventually ended up with quite a few! He is so handsome this one. They were always in pairs too. I only ever saw the one pair of these though as I did all my snorkelling in the shallows at our private beach. I was too scared to go in the deep water off the jetty- it was 45m deep! I'll be back soon with some proper posts with plenty of pictures!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Kluzingers wrasse

wrasse

I got this photo on my recent holiday to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. Plenty more to follow!