Aside from my fish friday posts I haven’t been able to get as much on to my blog as I would like (it didn’t help that I also scheduled my last fish friday for the wrong day – oops!). That’s because I have been working long hours on a project and hopefully the bulk of the work is now completed, hurrah.
Trip 1 – Sept 2013, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt
There was an upside to all that work, it meant I was able to claim back enough hours to take a week off, next month! Obviously we had to use the week to go somewhere hot and with plenty of fish for me to see. We went ahead and chose the ‘Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort & Spa‘ in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. Now, we booked in the morning and later that same day a state of emergency was proclaimed following the horrific violence that took place in Cairo. As it stands, our trip is going ahead. Despite many other countries/airlines refusing to travel to the country, the UK foreign office maintains that the red sea resorts are ‘safe’.
Some travellers have felt they had no choice but to cancel or amend their holidays, at significant cost to themselves, because of their fear or something untoward happening during their stay. We decided very early on that as long as the foreign office said we could travel; we will. Tourism is the main stay in many of the red sea resorts and it will not be long before workers are laid off from their jobs if visitor numbers do not improve, we are already hearing of 10% occupancy in the most popular hotels. The resounding feeling from those that have been there over the past week or so is that unless they were to watch the news, they would have no idea of the conflicts in the capital. Many hotels and their workers are actively encouraging people to visit, with a ‘Support Egypt’ campaign.
I an aware that some feel they have a moral duty to abstain from the country, that to visit would support the radical political action and that we have a duty to distance ourselves. I don’t see it like that, I think by not visiting we will be hitting the people, and areas, that need it most. Those involved in savage persecution and violence care little for the economic implications of a ban on foreign tourists.
So, having got that out of the way, let me share some deets with you!
We are staying for 7 nights and have booked a Junior Suite, which looks lovely. Because of the room type we get some extra perks like laundry and late checkout (which is super as our flight is not until late at night!). The complex has a floating jetty out to the reef so obviously I will be spending some serious time in the water with the fish! There is a stunning infinity pool, adults only pool and some a la carte restaurants to complete the line up. It’s now under 4 weeks until we travel and I can’t wait to update you on our return!
Never content with having just one trip booked!
Trip 2 – Jan/Feb 2014, Khao Lak, Thailand
We booked this trip back in May, after we came back from our honeymoon in the Maldives. We have been talking about visiting Thailand for quite some time and we decided that 2014 was the time to make it happen. Originally we had wanted to visit Bangkok as well but the flight times just were not practical so we decided to make that a reason to return another time. Instead, we booked an 11 night stay at ‘La Flora Resort & Spa‘ in Khao Lak, leaving at the end of January 2014.
We are very much looking at this trip as being more of an adventure than our normal beach stays, we have plans to really get stuck in to the local cuisine! Not far from Khao Lak are the world famous Similan and Surin Islands, along with the ‘Maldives of Thailand’ – Koh Tachai. Not content with just beaches, we are planning to visit the Khao Sok National Park to explore nature and also some local temples to see the stunning architecture and learn more about the population and their beliefs.
And to top it all off!
Trip 3 – April/May 2014, Athuruga Island, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
We really weren’t going to go to the Maldives in 2014. We already had Thailand booked and were sure that a week or two in Egypt to satisfy my fish-fetish would be enough for us, prices for 2014 had seemed massively up on 2012/2013 and I just didn’t think I could justify the spends any longer.
However, that’s the thing about ‘Maldivesitis’, it just gets you and you can’t cure it, you can’t fight it and you can’t reason with it, you just HAVE to go. So, earlier this week I was just idly browsing prices for late next spring when I saw what I thought was a good price for an island that has always been on my wish list – Diamonds Athuruga. I’ve been dealing with the same travel agent for a number of years now, she is an absolute gem and spends hours trying to help me get everything together and for the best possible price. She absolutely came up trumps here too and gave me a price that it would have been criminal to turn down, so I didn’t.
Diamonds Athuruga is located in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives, an atoll famous for it’s amazing house reefs and dive sites. The All inclusive plan is exceptional for the Maldives, a place notorious for having lots of exclusions. The island is much smaller than our previous destinations and has some of the best water villas I have ever seen in this price range. I can already see me getting very acquainted with the resident marine biologist!
We have taken a slight gamble in order to get a good price. Leaving at the very end of April we take the chance that we may catch the monsoon turn, usually evident with stormy and windy weather. We did catch this in 2011 and had a few poor days as a result. The monsoon can change at any time between mid April and the end of May, this year it was quite early and turned at the end of the first week in May. In the two preceding years it had turned around mid May. Let’s keep fingers crossed!
I am so stoked about this trip already and I have lots of days to wait yet!
Probably the biggest and most difficult journey I will ever embark on; the one to lose all my excess weight and get myself fit. I’ve been overweight as long as I can remember and despite having lost weight, regained it, lost, regained etc over the years, I am now at my heaviest ever and realised that I have to be honest with myself and make some serious effort to shape up. My blog is, has been, and always will be about travel and I don’t want to make it messy with lots of weight loss posts so my plan is to do an update every few weeks to let you know how I have been getting on! I start with my personal trainer tonight and am already recording all of my food intake, it’s going to be a long journey but hopefully one that will be well underway by the time we depart to Thailand, that’s my aim!
Well done if you managed to read all of that, I hope you will stick around and enjoy my journeys with me!