Sinai winds still blow strong

Sina's mountains provide a chunky backdrop to Dahab's lagoon.

Sinai’s mountains provide a jagged backdrop to Dahab’s smooth lagoon.

I was pushing my trolley out of the Fiesta supermarket after an evening shop when I noticed how a T-Mobile advertising banner on a vertical pole sticking out of the ground was flapping away in a warm breeze that had picked up while I’d been in the store.

It’s funny how your brain connects dots and makes associations, and before I knew it I was back in Egypt in the town of Dahab, the T-Mobile banner fluttering in the wind just like the banners would at the Harry Nass windsurfing center I used next to the lagoon a couple of clicks away from Dahab.

Dahab ended up becoming a regular haunt for windsurfing during my twenties, when I had a period of leave while serving in the army and wasn’t too sure what to do with myself.

A small town situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula, it was formerly a Bedouin fishing village, located approximately 80 km northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh, and offered a more chilled and less touristy option than Sharm for those seeking diving, windsurfing or just smoking a shisha under the stars.

It’s probably a very different place now, no doubt more like Sharm. Back then, walking from the lagoon to Dahab–I was too tight to pay for a taxi–took you along a stretch of relatively deserted beach, dotted with the occasional half-constructed building. In the distance across the Gulf of Aden I could see the hills of Jordan.

Sweet spot.