|Nov 6, 2005 - Basata - Simplicity at its Best, Sinai, Egypt|
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|Basata - Arabic for Simplicity|| ||Overview of Basata|| ||Inside of our Beach Hut|| |
|Basata - Simplicity at its Best|
Basata - Arabic for simplicity. After our first 7 weeks of whirlwind travelling through 'The Best of Europe', Israel and Jordan, we were ready for some R 'n' R and the simplicity of Basata, our Red Sea resort. Here we rested for six days at an incredibly unique camp on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The exact opposite of the full service Marriott hotel we stayed at in Jordan and the one we ventured off to next in Cairo, Basata is basic, plain and as the name is interpreted - simple!
For about $25 per night we stayed in what we called our Gilligan's Island hut - made of nothing but bamboo & twine with 2 basic wood tables, a foam mattress bed, woven straw floor mats and Bedouin crafted rugs. The only manufactured item in our hut was one small, unframed mirror hanging on the wall that even Eric used less and less as we unwound at our beachside paradise. The cloth door to our hut flapped in the sea breeze exposing the soft white sand and vibrant shades of the Red Sea just a few metres from our hut porch. Here is where we relaxed and unwound from our busy travel schedule, spending our days strolling the beach, snorkelling and reflecting on what we have done so far in our amazing journey and all the great things that are still to come.
Basata is a truly unique destination. The stretch of coast from Taba (at the Israel border) to Sharm el Sheik has unfortunately lost the majority of its tourism due to the political strife of the region, leaving dozens of half built resorts unfinished and completed resorts empty with their doors locked due to a lack of business. Basata however is special - sold out while we were there and incredibly popular with Egyptians from Cairo and the Ex-Pat community. This simple and basic resort gives vacationers a special place to relax and soak in the sun allowing it to weather the tough travel times better than its neighbouring resorts.
For us it was not only an extraordinary place to chill out but also a great way to gain some further insight into the country and people of Egypt. Communal dinners offered a chance to meet other Basata guests, many of who were living in Cairo, and learn their views on the history and future of this dynamic, ancient country. Discussions ranging from politics, religion, life in Egypt and of course, world travels, circled the table and provided the entertainment for the evening.
As a break from our daily beach routine, we booked ourselves on a full day camel safari with one of the local Bedouins (nomadic tribe people of the desert). Nothing could be farther from the 401 traffic jams of Toronto than our day of trodding along through the desert sands on the backs of our long-limbed friendly camels. We spent the day venturing through the Sinai desert, climbing through what is called the White Canyon, spending several tranquil hours at an oasis and home to our Bedouin guide and finally hiking back through what they call the Closed Canyon before returning to our beachside hut. By days end we had learned why camels are the ideal animals for desert transportation but also realized they are certainly not made for comfort!!
From the simplicity of Basata we spun ourselves into the overpopulated, polluted, noisy yet intriguing city of Cairo, our next stop on our around the world adventure.