It's going to take some getting used to!

We've arrived at our accommodation expecting it to be basic. And basically, it's very basic. We told ourselves to expect the absolute worst, so that anything different from what we imagined would be an improvement. It worked.

Fortunately it's quiet and air-conditioned. But very much like what you get if you booked a self catering holiday. Self catering without a microwave, washing machine, anything to clean with etc. So we've had to go out and buy a lot of stuff! But Bron got her "demand" on and managed to get a few extra's out of the authorities.

And even though we've been very sad to see our friends leave El Gouna, we're grateful for the things they couldn't take with them: a toaster, a vacuum cleaner – things we take for granted.

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The heat

It's hot here....! Wow! But it's to be expected. It's summer, in the desert. Luckily it's a dry heat which makes it more manageable. And there is a breeze blowing most of the time which tames the heat a little. A northerly wind blows down the coast pretty much most of the time. This is why they have kiteboarding championships here. I looked at the map on the kiteboarding beach and they even have the wind direction drawn on the map, telling me in seldom changes direction. I've been told that when it comes from the desert, which is west of us, it brings rain. Rain is apparently a great fiend here. But let's wait until it happens.

The air-con is on permanently. If it goes off, you feel the difference within minutes. The same if you open windows. We'll just have to get used to the constant hum of A/C.

Also, the streets are fairly quiet in the heat of the day, but it comes alive at night. Although still very warm, without the sun blazing down on you it's perfect.

Water

Don't drink the water. All our drinking water is bottled. All of it. We can shower and brush our teeth with tap water, but that's it. Some are nervous of brushing teeth and washing dishes with tap water, but so far so good...

It's another way of life to adjust to, but if you live here, you have boxes of water stashed somewhere. Perfectly normal. There is, however, no limescale in the kettle...

School

Bron's school is a 5 minute walk from our place. We've all paid a visit and it's nice. A new lick of paint is going over everything. This seems to be needed fairly often in the blazing sun and desert wind. Needless to say, she has a blank canvas and has to build her zone from the ground up.

We'll be going in there to revamp later in the week before the kids start.

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Westernisation

There is a decent mall about 30 minutes from El Gouna called Senzo. One can buy bulk at the super market and shop around for all your creature comforts. It's still nice to have a taste of western life, just so you don't feel too isolated. That 30 minute drive through the desert is an interesting one. And it's done in the day because, if you don't want to put your lights on, don't. If you want to talk on your mobile while driving, do it. If you want to stop anywhere on a 3 lane motorway, do it.

To sum up

So, lot's to get used to, but El Gouna is an exciting and  beautiful place. Lots of horse riders on the beach at sunset. Crystal clear water. Beautiful evenings. And most importantly, I find the people very friendly!

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