Monday, November 21, 2011

Gateaway in El Gouna, Egypt

Given how much there is to see and how much little time we have, I've always believed I'd never go back to the same holiday destination.  It appears I was wrong big time, as last summer, I went back to El Gouna, Egypt for the second consecutive year. To tell the truth, a big factor in it is the relative proximity to Switzerland, the very affordable accommodation rates and most and foremost, the awesome kitesurfing conditions it offers!  This time around we stayed at the Movenpick hotel, whereas last year, we stayed at the Ali Pasha, a small hotel in the Marina.  A huge plus regarding the Movenpick hotel is the proximity to the kitesurf spot and school literally next door, 100 meters from our room to be precise.  From our bedroom window, we could check the wind conditions without moving a finger. Quite awesome for the holiday bum I am, especially when I feel too lazy to move a finger ;)

Anyway, enough chitchat it's now time for some testimony photos!

This is what our bathroom looked like... Taking a shower was quite technical ;)

The kitesurfing school, literally 100 meters from our room.

A few shots of Kathy kitesurfing. I managed to injure myself pretty badly in the reef.  I under-estimated the lack of water in the lagoon at low tide and got dragged through the reef and corals.  I had almost reached the deep water when I realized there was no water left in the area near the exit of the lagoon. I tried to jump over the reef, but I messed up and ended up in the reef with my 12 meter kite dragging me all over the spiky corals (all this over-powered of course).... A very pleasant experience, especially the itch that followed and lasted for more than two weeks afterwards!  Next time, I'll use the few brain cells I have left... Ugh.

And now a few shots taken during sunset.  The colors were amazing!

Unfortunately, we happened to be unlucky as the wind wasn't as consistent as it should have been this time of the year (July). Therefore, during the down wind times, we would go snorkeling instead.

View of the beach in the front of the hotel.

This mini "island" was a floating platform quite far from the shore where people were sunbathing at.

That particular evening, the moon was incredibly bright and the sunset featured fantastic colors.

Here is how it looked much later. It was really purple like that.

Facing the sun, the colors were very different, much more intense and orange.  I liked the bokeh in that shot.

This is how the shore and horizon looked like from the water. Quite amazing, isn't it?

When the wind wouldn't cooperate, I had a great excuse to take some portrait/model shots ;) eheheh!
A candid one.

How about some fun and playing with the umbrellas?

Wide angle lenses are not exactly meant for portraits, but it can be fun regardless! The Pentax DA 15mm limited lens is such a joy to use anyway :)

Now, how about a black and white head shot?

For the riders at heart it was also possible to ride camels. Retrospectively, I should have given it a try, just for the sake of "having done it" although I suppose it's not exactly as glamorous as riding camels in the Sahara.

Finally, an obligatory shot taken in the old town of El Gouna.

If you're a kitesurfer, you should seriously consider El Gouna as a destination, as it offers great  conditions (except at low tide during a full moon), warm water (28 degres), excellent food, cheap accommodation and tons of sun of course :)

Thanks for looking!