New Girl

I was woken early the next day by ML as he made the first of the many cups of coffee that he seems to need to kick start his day before he starts work. I knew from past experience that my day would be long and I didn’t have the normal daily things to do that having a house entails so I was in no rush to jump out of bed and start my day.

ML was soon heading out the door and down to the hotel lobby where he would have more coffee and start work. At present, there are no offices set up here so they sit together at one of the groups of chairs and have their meetings with their laptops on their knees, before heading out on their various tasks.

As we will hopefully be changing rooms soon I didn’t want to unpack so found the least creased thing in my case and headed to the bathroom. Bottled water to clean my teeth – note to self, stop putting your brush under the running tap!!!

The extendable double sided mirror obviously thinks I can float or like to lay on the floor when I use it. A loose screw is the cause and with the judicious use of a pair of tweezers (I must get one of those penknives with all the gadgets one of these days) I was able to tighten it a bit. It was enough that if I stood on my toes I could see my face in close up (not for the faint of heart early in the morning).

It turns out that the repair only took effect temporarily and it is now as loose as ever. It’s default position at present is facing the ceiling so I have to hold it with one hand and do what ever I want with the other.

The shower was over a bath and the controls was easy to work out and by only closing one of the doors of the screen was ample to keep the water in (and my claustrophobia at bay). A bit of a bonus having a bath let’s hope the plug fits better than the sink’s, that just allows the water to drain straight away. It wasn’t until I was thoroughly wet that I remembered that there was no shampoo, conditioner or soap in there with me. They were all in a little tray next to the sink, so I dripped across the floor to collect them somewhat deflated from my previous mirror fixing high.

I had bought a new hairbrush before I came out and put it straight into my case – in the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman,

‘Big mistake. Big. Huge.’

It felt like I imagined it must feel to brush your hair with a hedgehog or porcupine. I was l surprised to find an intact scalp on checking. It went straight back in the case and won’t see the light of day again in a hurry. The only other thing I had to hand was a comb I’d chucked in my wash bag from some hotel I’d visited in the past. It turned out to not be very robust and despite my hair not normally getting knots the conditioner didn’t appear to have worked very well. The comb lost a couple of teeth in the tussle but I had hair ready for the hairdryer.

A combination of universal plugs a small extension lead and a hairdryer wire stretched almost to capacity and I was able to dry my hair in front of a mirror. I should say at this point that there is a hotel hairdryer on the wall in the bathroom but that has the blowing capacity of a slowly deflating balloon so I was using my own hence the slightly Heath Robinson setup.

Dressed and presentable I headed downstairs, most staircases are open to the elements so get a bit dusty and the corridors are lit by small wall lights. I found the right turning after a couple of false starts and came out into the lobby. Breakfast is buffet style and has pretty much everything you would expect plus some items I’d never come across before or seen served at breakfast time.

Ful medames (pronounced fool) which is mashed fava beans (broad beans) cooked with oil, chopped parsley, garlic, lemon juice and salt.

Ta’meya or falafels made from fava beans and coriander

I found a table and helped myself, it wasn’t too busy and I was soon enjoying a bowl of chopped fruit, a waiter served coffee and like every person who eats alone I got out my phone and fired up the Kindle app and started reading. The mainly Egyptian holidaymakers ignored me and so I was left to finish my meal and head out into the grounds

The hotel has two wings which wrap themselves around the large lagoon shaped pool which is surrounded by sunbeds and umbrellas. At one end, there is a waterfall with a large opening and this is a favourite spot for visitors to stand (obviously not the water side) and have their photograph taken. At the opposite end is a covered seating area for the open-air restaurant/bar.

There are a series of paths that take you around the gardens and to the different facilities, children’s play areas, beach volleyball courts, football pitches, restaurants Shisha Café etc.

The hotel also has its own beachfront which is populated by sunbeds and white wooden umbrellas. There is also a couple of pedalos, a speed boat and kayaks to use if you so wish – not for me I’m afraid. I like to walk along the sand, paddle in the clear water and look for shells of which I haven’t seen many of yet.

After my walk, I brought my laptop down to the lobby and pulled up one of the small tables. From here I can people watch and begin to get the feel of the place and the people that inhabit it.

If you have enjoyed this blog you may want to read the blogs I kept when I lived in Vietnam and Costa Rica.

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