Exploring the Enchantment of El Gouna with MSP

Sunset in El Gouna
Picture credit: Samantha Brook


For probably the first time ever, we left for our holiday in El Gouna at the planned time of 3 pm. Our flight was at 9 am on Friday morning, so MSP booked a hotel at Gatwick on Thursday evening.

When we’d been traveling for around 30 minutes, I felt bored and intimidated by the journey ahead, even though it was only a two-hour drive in total. I said my prayer to create a time warp and be teleported to the hotel in an instant. The journey passed much more quickly and pleasantly after that. It helped that we listened to “The Salt Path”, by Raynor Winn.

As we got closer to the hotel, MSP pulled up the booking confirmation. To his, and my, horror, he’d booked the hotel a week too late. I started chanting. He tried to amend the booking, but the hotel was fully booked. I kept chanting and suggested “it was worth a try to go to reception and throw ourselves on their mercy”.

The gentleman on reception was very pleasant. He told us they had only one room left but it was faulty. It had a leaky bath.

“We won’t be using the bath”, we said.

“Does the shower work?” I asked. Relieved, we got our luggage from the car.

“Thank you, Universe,” I said.


The next morning MSP insisted on having breakfast at the hotel, even though it meant we’d be cutting it fine. I agreed on the condition that “we only put out positive messages to the Universe” and I chanted in the car.

The Universe had our back as usual. Once at the airport, we dropped off our baggage and went straight through security in record time.

On the flight, we were sat next to a young, beautiful girl with long, purpley-red curls. Or should I say MSP was sat next to her, much to his delight.

The cabin crew brought round the Egyptian landing cards for us to fill in. MSP asked me, “are you going to do the right thing and offer your pen to people who haven’t got one, if they promise to give it back?”

“Yeah sure”, I replied.

He whipped the pen out of my hand, turned to the attractive girl, with a big grin and a twinkle in his eye.

“You and your friends can borrow this pen but I’m making you responsible for making sure we get it back.”

We all laughed.

“Flirt”, I mouthed at him. He grinned. I have to be honest, I love it when MSP flirts. I know it’s harmless. Plus, I am an outrageous flirt myself!

I got up to go to the loo.  MSP turned to the girl once again.

“She wants to go to the loo. Sorry.”

“That’s totally fine.”

“Yeah, but she’ll want to go at least three times.”

“Only three?” I threw in playfully.

The cabin crew seemed to be taking ages to come round with the food and drink. I said a quick prayer to warp and speed up the time.

As the cabin crew approached, MSP said he wasn’t going to get anything. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then when they arrived, he ordered two ciders!

“Two ciders!” I exclaimed. “I thought you said you weren’t getting anything.”

“Do you want a wine?”

“I’m fine thanks”, I retorted. “It’s only 10.30.”

“You are on holiday”, said the air stewardess.

“Exactly!” MSP replied.

The beautiful girl ordered three rose wines. MSP and l looked at each other and chuckled.

“You’re making me look good”, MSP twinkled at her. “I only ordered two.”

“Well, we are on holiday,” she said.

I reflected on the fact that I think MSP has a slight alcohol addiction. And then on my food addiction. I had ordered a meal deal, even though we had a full English breakfast at 6.30 am. And of course, most of the food at breakfast and on the flight wasn’t on my eating plan. But then again, we are on holiday!

According to Lee Harris’s April energy update, April is a time for joy and shadow. Ergo – heal the shadow. One way to do that is to observe what triggers us in others and see how that mirrors our own shadow.

We sat in companionable silence reading our books. MSP reading The Bodisatva Blues. Me reading The Celestine Prophecy.

After a while, MSP said to me,

“Did you notice me practicing Buddhism earlier?”

“No, what was that?”

“I did a good deed by lending that pen. When you do something good, the Universe repays you. It’s also a scouting concept to do a good deed every day.”

I was delighted. “It’s called the Law of Karma”, I said. “Or the Law of Cause and Effect.”

“Where did you learn about practicing Buddhism?” I was curious.

“I’ve heard you muttering about it.”

“Oh, I thought it might have been in that book.”

“Oh, it was in there as we well.”

“Let’s not get carried away. I’m not actually practicing Buddhism!” said MSP in alarm.

The Universe continued to have our back when we arrived at Hurghada airport. We obtained our visas easily. There was only a small queue at passport control. We picked up our luggage within a few seconds.

As we drove from Hurghada to El Gouna, I gazed at the beauty of the desert and the mountains. I felt like I’d come home.

We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment in the West Golf area of El Gouna, with a shared pool and sunbeds on the side of the lagoon. The apartment was clean and tidy with everything we needed, including a Nespresso coffee machine and a machine to make filter coffee.

Saturday and Sunday 

Saturday and Sunday were reasonably uneventful. The air conditioning didn’t work in the bedroom, so we were a bit hot during the night on Friday. I reported it to the agent and two guys came to fix it within approximately 20 minutes. They were very polite and friendly.

In Egypt, it was the EID celebration so everywhere was heaving with people. On the beach they were playing music and it seemed as though everyone had brought their own music and speakers, so all you could hear was a mixture of everyone’s loud music. This wasn’t conducive to relaxation. Although I enjoy music, when I’m on the beach I prefer to relax in quiet. Luckily, I soon get used to it. Everything was so beautiful; it didn’t seem to matter.

It was a bit windy on Saturday, meaning that it was too cold to swim in the sea. Sunday was forecast to be cloudy, so we spent the day on the marina. We were planning to have brunch at Malu’s Deli, but the wait was over an hour, so we had an Egyptian breakfast at Seventh Star.

Later, we headed to Moods Diner to watch my old friend, Ahmed Harfoush perform. As we hadn’t been in the sea, we didn’t need to shower so we stayed in the marina for the evening.

The weather was a bit depressing. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to swim in the sea because it was too windy. I realised that every time I have been to Gouna, the weather has been a bit shit, so I had a word with the Universe.

Please cancel any adverse effects of my negative thoughts about the weather in Gouna. Help me to keep my words, my thoughts, and my actions positive. Please help me to use my words, my thoughts, and my actions to attract good things into my life – an abundance of health, wealth, Happiness, love and good weather.

On Saturday evening, I realised that the shower was blocked, and I nearly flooded the bathroom! Again, two guys came to fix it within approximately 20 minutes and again they were very polite and friendly.

Monday and Tuesday

After that the weather was hot, sunny, and only slightly windy. I swam in the sea every day. A couple of days I also swam in the shared pool at the end of the day. The pool was absolutely freezing compared to the sea. It felt so exhilarating to submerge myself into the cold water and I felt determined to have more cold showers on my return home.

Monday was an uneventful, but very relaxing, day on the beach. On Tuesday we enjoyed the Ocean Diva catamaran trip. The trip included two snorkel stops, possible sightings of dolphins and lunch.

We were blessed with seeing lots of dolphins dancing through the waves around the boat. It seemed as though they were delighted to see us and put on a show especially for us.

I was very nervous about getting on and off the boat to snorkel. I am scared of ladders and falling, even though if I fell, I would only fall into the sea, which is (reasonably) safe. Also, the sea scares me a little bit. I am quite a weak swimmer.

The skipper handed out swim vests (life jackets). I edged my way nervously down the catamaran steps. The skipper placed a buoy in the water to help me feel safer.

“It’s getting in and out of the water that’s the problem”, I told him. “Once I’m in, I’ll be fine.”

Famous last words!

I felt quite scared, so I sat on the edge and kind of jumped off before I had time to think about it.

I disappeared under the water and struggled to the top, gasping for air. My lifejacket was floating up around my head, which was making things difficult. The buoy was floating around in front of me, and I was so grateful for it. I tried to reach the ladder and the skipper held out his hand.

“I think I’d be better without the life jacket”, I told him. He helped me to take it off while I clung to the ladder. MSP was shouting out advice in the background.

I then swam away from the boat a little bit, to build my confidence. Someone came down the ladder, causing waves. I felt myself panicking as I floundered around, and I knew I had to get out as soon as possible.

I was proud of myself for giving it a go. The whole thing had been a bit traumatic though and I felt a bit tearful.

When we made the second snorkel stop, I moved to the back of the boat to watch MSP in the water. The skipper was calling out to him, but he couldn’t hear.

“Babe”, I shouted to get his attention. The skipper turned to me.

“What’s his name?”

“Babe”, I grinned mischievously.

The skipper looked as though he was going to call out “babe” and then realised I was having him on.

We didn’t eat until well past 3 pm and I was very hungry. I had two tuna and one cream cheese wrap. The tuna wraps were quite warm. It crossed my mind that tuna and heat might not be a great combination, but I pushed the thought to the back of mind and ate the wraps with gusto.

Wednesday – Friday

I was shocked and disappointed that we only had two days of our holiday left. The time had gone so quickly. Maybe the Universe was still speeding up time. On my next holiday, I must remember to say a prayer to slow down the time once we’ve arrived.

On Wednesday we spent a lovely day on Zeytouna Beach, which was really beautiful. I had a tummy ache and diarrhoea all day though. In the afternoon I felt freezing cold, even though the temperature was 31 degrees, and I had goosebumps. We went home and I slept. MSP went out for dinner on his own that evening. He had a steak at Jobo’s, where he watched the football. All I could manage was a couple of slices of cheese on toast.

Our departure day came around all too quickly. I said my prayer to speed up the journey time. The Universe had my back once more and everything was easy. Driving home from Gatwick at 11 pm was not pleasant though. Luckily MSP drove. I tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep, but the journey did pass quickly.

Now we’re back at home in Ipswich. We seem to have brought the sunshine with us, although rain is forecast for later today. Hopefully we’ll be back in Gouna soon.

Best bit: swimming in the sea.

Worst bit: coming home. Closely followed by the music playing everywhere.

Top tip: check the dates of Egyptian holidays before you travel.

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