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On the edge of the desert, on the brink of the Red Sea. Egypt, the land of the discovery channel documentary.

Working for an airline company and never having been on a plane before let alone out of the country was the biggest downfall of my life and career! I so wanted to travel but due to my family never could and now faced with a broken relationship the start of an amazing new one and a wage increase I saw my chance.

Booked it on a website, bit dodgy as I know how they work! Then freaked as I didn't have a passport or injections and I was due to leave in under 10 days. Ran around like a fool for a week then thought to ask my boss for time off.

Grabbed my beautiful lover and headed off to Gatwick. My nerves were ablaze and I couldn't shut up until on the plane I crushed his hand in mine as the plane burnt down the runway and then into the invisable sky. My legs went all wierd and I was convinced I had deep vein clots building up the higher we climbed. Luckily we had 2 litres of rum to ease the pain which hiding from the stewards reminded me of my schooldays!

Hurghada looked like a major curl on the edge of the sea as we flew down over it. The water was unlike any Altantic Ocean or Irish Sea I had ever seen. The mountains were a dull red and the sky vivid purple. The smell that hit me when I got off the plane was sexy! I grabbed Dan and just kissed him gently, I couldn't believe I was in Africa.

The fishing town of Hurghada is divided from the tourist bit by prejudiced tour reps who on our coach to the hotel informed us how it was illegal to freely tour in Egypt without a rep. To tour she would gladly escort us and the list of prices were on the back of our guides. Day one we monged out and then went to see this place advertised only as a last minute bargain.

The touristy bit was bog standardily Anglofied Blackpool, but with bigger flies that had red buggy eyes and bit you.

The old town was dusty. No flashy shops or Mac Donalds. Old men sat in cafes smoking pipes of tobacco that smelt of applely/fruity aromas. A bag of fish heads were at my feet as I stopped to look for a dustbin for my empty water bottle. The roads were covered in junk. From discarded Fanta cans to bits of dead goat the whole array of rubbish shocked me.

I was like some crazed kid who had never seen anything before. Sure television had given me images and movies but nothing like reality. Where were the women? I was puzzled that there were cafes of men, men in shops, men in the hotels, men in the street, loads of men but no women. My first time abroad was to the most culturally challenging place I could have gone, a strict district within a Muslim country.

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