Place: Dahab, Egypt
The bottom of the Bells chute is 26 meters down. The side of the chute is open for the first 24 meters. The bottom has an opening through which you are supposed to exit. I am hanging up at the top, upside down, under water.
This is my second dive of the day, which will qualify me for an adventure diver certification. My guide today is Hamde, who knows what he is doing. I’m a lot less shaky than I was the day before.
Our first dive, the deep dive, was at the Canyon. The Canyon was 30 meters deep, over ninety feet. Remarkably, the ear drum I punctures as a child is not acting up. I have to take a few tests to make sure I’m not suffering from the disorientation that can result from extreme depths. Disorientation is not a factor, although panic is. I swim over the top of the canyon, than plummet like a sky-diver deep into the canyon. I manage to pass the orientation tests without any problems.
From there, we go to the Bells entrance. We travel in a truck, having wisely passed on the camel ride.
We grab a quick lunch at the Blue Hole site. I am getting antsy, as I have a four o’clock bus to catch, and I still have to get cash (no credit cards allowed) to pay for the dive.
I travel down the chute, having to stop and turn upright every so often to adjust my ear pressure. When we pop out of the chute, we perform our drift dive, which involves catching some high current.
After the drift dive, they drive us back to Penguin Village. I run down to the ATM and get the cash to pay for the dives. They quickly shuttle me to the bus station. I change out of my swim suit in the men’s room, waiting for the bus to arrive. I have a hard time spotting which bus is mine, especially as nobody speaks English.
I get on the bus and get settled for my seventeen hour bus ride to Luxor. Every so often someone gets on the bus and makes me move seats. About ten, they put on a movie. It’s in Egyptian. Every so often they break out into song. The only words I am able to catch are about a few dozen “Death to Israel!”