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Scary and Billy's New Year Trip to Sharm

GingerCherry
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Scary had left the booking up to me, since he was working in Oz, but had given me a few pointers. After getting a few quotes, Explorers's 499 deal (flights, hotel, and diving) seemed like a good deal. The places that we tried were:

Despite calling up the office and speaking to someone, and leaving a message on the mobile, we never got a price from Red Sea Divers. It doesn't therefore deserve a link from this page.

Wednesday 28th December - The Day Before

Lardman (Nicholas Belching)Leaving me plenty of gimmering time, Scary arrived at about 6pm. CENSORED. After dropping some stuff off at my work, and trying to persuade Bird to come out to play, we went to the Toby for a few pre-curry Stellas.

As usual, The India didn't disappoint, and we had plenty of food left to take home. During the meal, we had to try very hard not to laugh too much at Lard Man. He was sat on the table next to us, and really needed to lose a few pounds (yes, I know it's very bad to judge people). We walked down to the Toby, giggling about The Beast all the way. We were shocked to find out that they were closing the pub at 10pm. I still managed to get a few TNT laden ankle weights gags in before we left.

Back at my gaff, I left Scary in the living room, while I made tea. I took Scary his tea, and found him passed out on the sofa. I finished my tea while watching Dave Allen. Scary still hadn't woken up, so I left him to it, and finished his tea for him.

Thursday 29th December - The Journey There

Airport BreakfastAlthough we weren't flying until 12:30, we had to wake up at 07:00, so that I could pack. I just about managed to fit everything into my crate. There was no traffic on the M25, so we arrived at the check-in gate before 10 o'clock. Scary upgraded us to the extra leg-room seats, and we went to the Wetherspoon's for breakfast. Shocked that it had no Stella, we went to the Lloyd's bar instead. During our Gatwick pub crawl, we bumped into Dave (a bloke that Scary and Ian Collins had met on their Red Sea Liveaboard trip).

Amazingly, we didn't even manage three pints, with Scary getting a bit panicky about us missing the flight, we left some unfinished Stella! We arrived at the departure gate, after having bought Nuts, to find that the flight had been delayed. That gave us time for some beer, once I'd discovered the bar.

We weren't too late starting to taxi off, but then the plane turned around, and headed back to the departure gate for repairs. We eventually took off about two hours late. Still, the Chief Air Hostess was friendly, and we were looking forward to a few cans of Becs on the plane.

After some more beer, Scary thought it would be funny to unfold the bottom of a sick bag, and put it back in the seat pocket. What a naughty boy (I'd already written "beer" on it, but Scary wouldn't let me waive it at the Air Hostesses). While Scary was in the toilet, I thought it would be funny to write "More Jack", and "Bite Your Tongue" on the other side. Oh how we laughed.

As we got close to Sharm, the Chief Air Totty announced that somebody had left a ring in the toilets. Wanting somewhere safe to put it, she took the sick bag from the pocket in front of Scary, and placed the ring safely inside. I couldn't see what happened next, but Scary said that the ring fell through onto the floor, and she looked in disgust at the writing on the side of the bag.

Landing in Egypt was the usual long-queued affair, but at least we didn't get our passports taken off us this time. As usual, all the drug addicts ignored the No Smoking signs. I managed to pick the worst luggage trolley in the world, so let Scary be in charge of pushing it. Explorers had laid on a coach to take us to Ocean Bay, so we got on it, and checked out the totty. There only seemed to be one bit of single totty, and she looked quite rough!

The bloke whittered on over the microphone quite a bit. I can't remember much of what he said, but he did say that there would be no diving on New Year's day. That was OK, because we had no plans to dive that day anyway. We were going to be good, and take a day off half-way through (nothing to do with getting pissed on New Year's eve).

When we arrived at the hotel, Scary seemed convinced that we'd be able to get two single rooms. Despite our booking saying twin room, and the key already being in an envelope at reception, I had to admire his determination when he said that we wanted single rooms. Needless to say, we ended up sharing.

We got escorted to a room, so had to fork out a few scroats to tip the guvna. Straight away, we headed down to the bar to get a bite to eat, and a few beers. We tried the Irish bar. It seemed quite empty, but it served burgers and beer at 11pm. The burgers weren't brilliant, but did the job. There was a bloke setting up karaoke, a bloke playing pool against himself (LonerBoy - the first nickname of the holiday), and a couple snogging at the bar. The karaoke bloke sang a song, and, just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, LonerBoy sang a song as well.

A family walked in for dinner. After realising that there was no totty, we left, and headed off for a bit of Camel Bar action. Despite there being two unaccompanied bits of totty sipping wine, we sensibly only stayed for one beer, before going back to the hotel, to sort out our dive kit. As Scary took his regs out of his hand luggage, he saw his dive knife attached to them. Quality security at Gatwick! Still, at least he didn't leave any TNT laden ankle weights on the plane. With the alarm set for 7 o'clock (yuck), we went to sleep.

Friday 30th December - Day 1

Still getting over the shock of having to meet at 8 o'clock (we didn't bother with the 7:15 hotel welcome meeting), we stumbled over to get breakfast. It was the usual Egyptian affair, but the omelette looked a bit green. Fortunately, they had some hard boiled eggs on offer, so I was going to be able to get my daily egg fix. Not much totty around that time in the morning, but I was sure that we would find some later.

The dive centre was part of the hotel, so we didn't have too far to carry out dive kit. The was some dive centre totty walking down at the same time as us, so things were looking up. After signing in, we were told that we weren't due to leave until 9 o'clock. Upset that we could have had another hour in bed, we realised that we could drink tea while perving at totty by the swimming pool. I left Scary by the pool, listening to two bull-shit merchants telling each other stories about all the diving incidents that they'd been involved in, while I sorted out more tea. In the end, the coach didn't leave until about half-nine, but we were in no hurry.

After picking up a few more people, we arrived at the harbour, to be greeted by dozens of boats, and loads of diesel fumes. We were talking about the Thistegorm, with its 4 o'clock start to the day. Scary told me off for saying "We won't be diving that - we don't intend to be sober at that time in the morning". There seemed to be loads of totty on the other boats, but none on our boat. That was until Janna (our Dutch totty dive leader) arrived. She was almost up to Silka standards. We met a bloke called Noah (Scary was later to ask me whether it was Noah that parted the Red Sea, so our second nickname of the holiday was coined - RedSeaPartingBoy).

Today was going to be our check-out dives, just to make sure that we knew how to dive. Seemed like an easy option to me. We dived what was called The Temple. It looked nothing like a temple to me, just a load of coral with lots of pretty fish. Only managed a 59 minute dive, but then I did surface with about 10 bar.

Our second dive was on Ras Hadamma. During the brief, we were told to keep our regs in when behind the boat, to avoid the diesel fumes, and when climbing the ladder, in case we fell back in. Unfortunately, I couldn't do this, because I had no air left. After de-kitting my stuff, I asked Janna whether I could have 15-litre cylinders for the rest of the week. She said that she didn't think that it was necessary, because I was very good with air. I then realised that she'd believed me when I said that I'd surfaced with 50 bar! On the way back, one of the bullshit boys from earlier (BigNosedBullShitBoy - BNBB) was whittering on. I'd suggested mooning the glass-bottomed boats, so he spent about 5 minutes whittering on, before coming to the same conclusion.

Back on dry land, we were walking up towards the bus, when we heard somebody say "Mr. McCormack. What are you doing here". It was a bloke that Scary had gone to school with, so we arranged to meet him for some beers later. Scary suggested having a few beers before going back to the hotel for a shower. The few beers happened, but we never quite made it back to the hotel to freshen up. While we were having our beers outside the Camel Bar, we saw LonerBoy arguing about the bill (what a tight-wad!). We had a look at the Little Buddha, but thought it looked too pricey. Instead we went to the Chinese restaurant, sat at a table in the middle of the shopping centre, and, feeling adventurous, I tried (and enjoyed) Sushi.

We met Scary's mate in the Camel Bar, and knocked back plenty of beer. There was some totty on the next table, but we ended up being joined by two motorcycling guvnas, who told me all about the racing that they'd done. Fortunately, I got chatting to Scary and Jani again. Jani was going to Daha for New Year's eve, because Sharm is too commercialised. There's a blue hole at Daha at about 55m, and Scary turned on the beer-fuelled bull-shit machine. He was up for going up and diving it, but I wasn't quite convinced. There was a very sexy woman (in her 30s, I think) wearing a coat over a very sexy bikini, but, unfortunately, she was surrounded by blokes, so I couldn't get near.

We were good boys, we finished drinking at about 01:30, and drank loads of water when we got back to the hotel (OK, I lied about the water).

Saturday 31st December - Day 2 (New Year's Eve)

Towel 1Breakfast was the normal affair. I left Scary to check us in at the Dive Centre, while I sorted out some more tea to drink while we were waiting for the bus. While waiting for the bus, we were joined by Abraham, who let us have a quick look at the list on his clipboard, so we could see how much totty there would be on board. It seemed that the only women were accompanied by men, but there was one name on the list that we weren't sure about. It was an unaccompanied Dane, but we weren't sure whether it would be a bird or a bloke. I bet 50p that this person was a bird. Abraham made a comment that all English women were quite large (tut, tut).

When the bus arrived, we sat down at the back of the bus, and Scary sat next to a bloke. It turned out that he was from Denmark, so I'd lost that bet (FiftyPeeBoy lost me my first bet of the holiday). Janis was there with her clipboard as well, so it looked as if there was going to be the battle of the clipboards. We launched from the quieter quay today, and were entertained by perving at a woman in office-type clothes, who kept bending over. RedSeaPartingBoy joined in. I got my 15-litre cylinders sorted, and Janna suggested that I take 1kg off my weight-belt, which, being a good Billy, I did. Knowing me too well, Scary asked whether I'd taken it off my weight-belt, and put it in my stab-jacket pocket! CENSORED.

The first dive was on Thomas Reef. To be honest, I can't remember much about it, but I'm sure that it involved lots of coral, pretty fish, and surfacing with not enough air. We sat out the second dive (we were being sensible, and only doing 2 dives a day), and got chatting to two Brits. One was sunbathing in a very nice green bikini, and she had a fantastic pair of norks. Her boyfriend seemed nice enough, but was one of these people who thinks he's got something to prove all the time. She was quite a mouthy tart [not meant in a nasty way], but that didn't matter - she had a great cleavage. Scary commented that they were like Dave Smallman, and Sarah Turpin. I couldn't see the Smallman likeness, but I could see the Turpin likeness. Her cleavage served as an excellent tea holder, so another two nicknames were coined - Smallman and TeaCupHoldingNorkBird.

I can't remember the name of the third dive in Egyptian, but it translates as "Good Head" into English. Oh how I giggled. We didn't get to dive with Janna, so dived with TottySpottingLocalBoy. He was good, but had a very annoying shakey thing to attract our attention. We had to smile, when he spotted something, got his shakey thing in his hand, turned round, started to shake it, and got really confused when he realised that everybody had already seen whatever he'd seen. We saw a massive StabbyHandGuvna, but I can't remember much else. After the dive, Janna was wearing a very sexy top, but TCHNB had covered up a bit. We got chatting to two divers from Plymouth (Andy and Karen, but we initially knew them as DrySuitBloke and DrySuitBird), who had done quite a lot of 50m diving. We also got chatting to Ian (a bloke who, controversially, never got a nickname), who was up for joining us for some New Year beers.

This time, I made sure that we had showers before we went out. We popped into the curry house, to see whether we could book a table. It was 6 o'clock, and the guvna said we could have a table at 6:30, but that we'd have to be out by 7:30. Seemed OK to me. He was trying to get me to book a bottle of Egyptian sparkling wine, I was just about to say "no", when Scary turned up and said "yes". Gimmeration. While I'd been sorting out the curry, Scary had been trying to blag us entry to the Camel Club (which was ticket only).

The curry was nice, but the sparkling wine was terrible. Scary ended up putting the half-empty bottle upside down in the ice bucket. Smallman and TCHNB came in, but they didn't bother coming over to say "hello". TCHNB didn't have a low-cut top on, so we weren't really bothered. There we no Christmas crackers, so I didn't get any more jokes for my joke of the day. However, we did get a few noisy blowy things. At 7:30, there were still lots of free tables, we couldn't understand why the bloke had been so insistent that we finished by then.

Through telling complete and utter lies, Scary blagged us into the Camel Club. All I had to do was give the bouncer a blowy, and he let us in. It wasn't very full when we got in, and we managed to get a window seat, so that we could check out the totty. Having fallen asleep at the hotel, Ian hadn't joined us for curry, but did manage to blag his way into the Camel Club as well. He joined us at the perving table, and Scary and I soon realised that Ian was more of a perve that the two of us put together! We saw two women drinking outside, with either a younger sister or daughter (Ian coined the nickname, TizerGirl).

I can't remember much about the rest of the evening, except we drank lots of beer, downed lots of shots, and met loads of new people:

At about half-one, I needed my sleep, so called it a night. Scary and Ian carried on drinking with the two birds, with Scary making it back just after 5 o'clock - dirty stop-out.

Sunday 1st January - Day 3 (New Year's Day - no diving)

There was a knock on the door at about 11 o'clock, when the room cleaner wanted to clean the room. I helpfully shouted "Scary. Sort it out". The room cleaner went away, so we didn't get any nicely folded towels.

We eventually got up at about 1 o'clock, and decided that it was time to get a burger. Not everywhere was open, but we found a beach-side restaurant, that would serve us burgers, coke, and let us perve at sunbathing totty. What a brilliant way to spend a day off. After about half-an-hour, we were amused to see LonerBoy turn up, and sit down on a sun lounger. A bit later, the waiter took him over a burger, and he started eating on his own. He then turned around to a pile of towels, and start talking to it (TowelMan).

Ian joined us, and we carried on perving, and putting the world to rights. Ian complained about being hassled by a bloke asking him to sign his notebook (NotebookMan). Ian had said he'd sign it, but decided against it when the bloke started walking down a dark alleyway to his shop.

After we'd finished all the drinks and food, we walked along the sea front, wondering what we were going to for the rest of the day. NotebookMan recognised Ian, and followed us along the sea front shouting "You respect me, like I respect Tony Blair". We wanted to find out about quad-biking, and saw a poster inside a hotel. After setting the metal detector off several times, the security guard let us walk around it, when we told him that we only wanted to look at the poster. It didn't really help us, but we found a tourist trips place, which told us what we needed to know. Scary wouldn't let me stop for ice-cream at Ice Dream, so we carried on walking, following some nice Asian totty.

As we walked along, our attention was drawn towards lots of people dancing on stage. Excellent - we could watch aerobics, and drink beer at the same time. As Fat Mike had once said, aerobics definitely is a spectator sport. It turned out to be a hotel dancing thing, but it was still entertaining. There were two women who seemed to be enjoying it a little too much (or they were cold), and an old boy, who seemed to be dancing around in his pants. Anyway, it kept us entertained for a while.

We'd decided to eat at the Mexican restaurant, having not been very tempted by the Little Buddha. It wasn't open when we went first time, so we went down to the Camel Bar for some beer and nuts. On the way there, amongst the usual "Lovely Jubbly" and "Asda Price" comments, I heard someone say "free". That got my attention, so I went over. It was buy one, get one free, on coctails. The guy trying to tempt us in was jumping up and down (JumpingBoy), so we sat down, ordered three beers, and shouted at everybody who walked past. We told JumpingBoy that it wasn't a very good idea to shout "Oi. Slim man" at every bloke who walked past, and the boys wouldn't let me tell him to shout "Nice Norks" or "Oi. Lard Boy".

After that, we went for a bit of Mexican action. The food was great, but the service was pants. Still, we weren't in any hurry. While we were eating our starters, Scary said "I wonder why they're called Buffalo Wings?". I immediately replied "Well. In ancient Greek mythology....". I paused, and then realised that Ian and Scary were actually expecting me to continue the explanation. The best I could come up with was ".....buffaloes flew". When I then told them that I actually thought that it's how a bloke in Buffalo cooked them, they didn't believe a word I was saying.

After we'd finished eating, the two girls from last night turned up. They'd had loads of hassle in their restaurant, and seemed up for getting our service improved. All we needed was the bill, which arrived soon after the girls started hassling the waiter.

I can't remember much more about that evening, but it finished off sitting on cushions, drinking beer, eating nuts, and smoking one of those weird smokey things. I didn't do the smoking, but did the rest. Seeing Cherry Supermarket made me smile. If I remember rightly, Scary made it back at the same time as me.

Monday 2nd January - Day 4

Towel 2The day started as usual, breakfast, tea, ready at 8 o'clock, tea, tea, get on the bus at sometime between 8:30 and 9 o'clock. BNBB joined us, and starting telling us about a dive guide with big norks - something worth keeping an eye out for, and also whittered on about another dry-suit diver who had a few buoyancy problems on New Year's eve (he loves to criticise). I had another 50p bet with Scary that there'd be some single totty on board the boat, but I lost another 50p. TCHNB and Smallman were on board. We had to wait bloody ages for the boat to dock, so that we could get on board. During which time, our dive guide for the day (a very efficient Danish bloke), was getting more, and more, frustrated.

The brief was clear that we'd have to descend fairly quickly, because of the current, so Scary and I had to smile when Smallman realised that he'd jumped in without his computer. I said we'd look after TCHNB for him! We were diving Fleece Reef, and Coke Bottle Rock (to the less well informed, it's called Shark, Yolanda, and Mini Yolanda). There was loads of current, but Scary had taught me how to fin properly while we were having our Chinese the other night, so I managed to swim against it. Bloody hard work though, it's a good job that I had a 15-litre cylinder. We saw a Moray, and also several car air filter fish.

Between the first and second dives, Scary got chatting to this bloke who was studying for the PADI Nitrox qualification. I would have joined in, but they were sitting in the sun. Poor old NitroxBoy had come away with his girlfriend, but she had been ill since arriving, and had been giving him constant grief because she couldn't dive.

Because of the delay leaving, there was only time for 2 dives. When it came to get changed back into my wetsuit, I couldn't find my swimming trunks. Disgusted with the amount of cheek that they showed (especially when I bent over), Scary had thrown them in the bin. I retrieved them, not wanting to go commando.

The second dive was on Towel Reef. The current was much less on this dive, so I actually managed to almost surface with a decent amount of air (40 bar). We saw a turtle, a diver wearing an ABLJ, and (most importantly) some totty snorkellers at the end of the dive. Got chatting to TCHNB on the way back to shore, and could hardly get a word in edgeways. Back at the hotel, BNBB joined us for a pint by the pool (some nice swimming totty). Scary asked him about the PADI qualifications, and he told us all about them, hardly stopping for breath. While he was whittering on, I started writing postcards to the ladies.

When the pool closed at 6pm, we went up to the First Floor bar. I bought us draft Sakara, not realising that it wasn't Sakara Gold. I won't be making that mistake again. There was football on the TV, so we didn't stay long. Scary and I carried on writing postcards, until Ian arrived. Worryingly my swimming trunks featured quite heavily in the postcards!

We went for a bit of Thai action with Ian, and Scary's school mate (BNBB didn't join us because he had a date with Freddie - the dive guide with big norks, that BNBB had mentioned before). Ian tried Sushi - he ate a bit, but didn't try any more. Scary's school mate had had a nice time in Daha, and was telling us about the Blue Hole. I still wasn't convinced, but Scary said he was definitely up for it. After finishing off the postcards, we met up with the girls again, and, surprise, surprise, went to the Camel bar. While the others were smoking the strange pipe thing, I finished off writing up my dive log. I commented that I'd done 470 dives, so the conversation moved onto what other things people had done 470 times. We spent quite a long time talking about blow-jobs, but Suzanne told us that we couldn't count shags, because everybody has shagged at least 470 times. We smiled, and told her about Cherryboy. A bit later, I discovered that Scary had voluntered my services to give the girls snorkelling lessons! As a wise man once said, "hmmmmm".

Despite having to get up at 4am to dive the Thistlegorm, Ian stayed fairly late. I tried to make him see sense, and have a few hours' kip, but he listened to Scary, who said that he'd be able to sleep during the trip out there. I couldn't hack the pace again, so left a bit early. Scary made it back at about 3 o'clock.

Tuesday 3rd January - Day 5

Towel 3

The usual start for the day, except BNBB sat with us drinking tea while we waited for the bus (Scary had calmed down after the previous night, and agreed that the Blue Hole was better left for another trip). BNBB didn't bother checking in, because he said that they knew he'd be ready. Everything ended up being delayed while they waited for him at the dive centre - what a gimmer. While he wasn't there, we got chatting to Freddie. She told us the truth about what actually happened on their "date" the night before....

We launched from the quieter quay today, but there was no leaning over work totty today. However, all 4 dry-suit guvnas were on board today. It was quite a windy day, and we all got a little bit cold. The first dive was a giggle, I think that I simply need to quote my dive log:

Keitch fish. Naked branch. Squashed forehead fish. Big Coral Munching Guvnas. Scary saw a badger. Followed Janna around a bit, and got knocked into by a torch flashing tosser. Also saw a Lard Fish, and DrySuitBird reckoned that I was skiving off work, because I didn't want to go in the sun.

TorchFlashingTosser was a right annoying pratt. He seemed to manage to get in everybody's way during every single dive. When TorchFlashingTosser didn't get in my way, his buddy (FinSmackInFaceBoy) would always manage it. What a pair of gimmers. By the way, the comment about me not wanting to get into the sun was based upon the fact that whenever I surfaced, I took my RNLI hat out of my stab-jacket pocket, and put it on my head.

Apart from having to make sure that Scary didn't try to bin my trunks during lunch, I can't remember anything about the second dive, but, back at the hotel, we had a few beers by the pool with BNBB and some of the totty dive guides. One of them had done quite a bit of Trimix diving, and was doing a good job of persuading us that trimix diving in Sharm was the way forward.

We met up with the drysuit guvnas, Suzanne, and Kate, in the Camel Bar (Ian didn't join us, because he hadn't got much sleep on the Thistlegorm trip). As we were going to be drinking with them, I thought that it was time that I actually found out the DrySuitGuvnas' real names! After a few beers, we went off to the Little Bhudda, to try a bit more up-market Chinese. The food was good, the beer wasn't too bad, and the service was down to the usual Egyptian standards.

The locks on the cubicles in the ladies' toilets were pants, so the girls always went in 2s or 3s, in case they got locked in. We had a few more beers in the Camel Bar before calling it a night.

Wednesday 4th January - Day 6

Towel 4

While chatting with Freddie this morning, she said that Scary and I reminded her of the two old men in the Muppets! Blooming cheek! Still, she also let it slip that BNBB had asked out about every woman in the dive centre, so that gave us some ammunition for the day! We bumped into NitroxBoy over breakfast, who was still having hassles with his missus.

It was windy again on the boat, but, fortunately, I had remembered to bring some socks. Scary had forgotten, so spent most of his day snuggled up in his towel (at least he was too cold to try to throw my trunks away). Ian and I had made a few brews, but Scary was being a bit pants at making his round, so I wrote "TEA" on the back of my logbook, and waived it at him. It didn't work (although my bad spelling didn't help).

TEA!

Our first dive was BagsUnderTowelReef. Scary and I took great delight in reminding Smallman that he should take a dive computer in. While we were stood at the back of the boat, I was stood next to TDT. Scary shouted "Watch out for Torch Dangling Tosser", at which point, TDT realised that he'd forgotten his torch, and shouted at someone to pass it to him.

During the dive, everywhere I looked, there were divers (Divers. Bleeding thousands of them). Despite this, TDT and FSIHB managed to get in my way all the time. At one point, I managed to kick FSIHB, and elbow TDT at the same time. We saw a turtle, and Scary got mounted by Karen (DrySuitBird1). It was bloody hard work getting back in the boat - I'd surfaced with 40bar, but only had 20 when I got back in the boat. As we were bouncing around, waiting to be picked up, I started a game of I Spy. "I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with BNBB", I said. Everybody smiled, except for BNBB, who started trying to work it out!

There was totty with nice norks with a Scary Ponce Camera, and the VideographingBird was pretty sexy. After lunch, Scary was a good boy. He took down everybody's plates (well, almost everybody's - he left FSIHB's behind). Despite me waiving my logbook at him, he still didn't come back up with any tea.

After the swell in the morning, we went to the AlmostLegalDive. It was much calmer, and there was a fair bit of sand, so we just had a giggle. I tried out Scary's school-mate's signal for a naked branch, but got a bit cold. Later on in the dive, I was finning along, and TDT and FSIHB were closing in on me. Using my new finning skills, I just finned quickly between them. TDT punched me as I finned past!

After that dive - the last dive of the holiday, it was time for the ritual binning of the pants. I had wanted to do the environmentally friendly thing, and take them back to Slough, so that I could put them in the textile recycling bin. Scary pointed out that, because there was so little fabric on them, there was no point. He kept threatening to throw them in the sea, but I knew that Emma would never talk to us again if we did that, so Scary settled with the bin (where he'd tried to throw them a few times anyway).

Back at the hotel, we had a few beers while watching VideographerBird's work. Not many people seemed that interested, but Scary and I bought a copy. We'd enjoyed hurling abuse at TDT and FSIHB so much, and PonceCameraGirl was showing cleavage, so it was worth every penny. We had a few more beers discussing Trimix with another instructor, and Scary went into one of his BeerFueledBullshit modes.

It was our last night in Sharm, and we went off to try a bit of Lebanese action. Freddie and VideographerBird joined us for a few drinks in the Camel Bar, but didn't fancy dinner. We ate with Ian, Suzane, Kate, and BNBB. Suzanne was very disappointed with both Ian and me, when Ian got me lined up to take a picture of some bird's G-string. This made Ian happy, because Suzanne had been saying that he was a very nice man, which he didn't like at all.

We managed to get a table in the Camel Bar, so Ian, BNBB, and I sat down to drink beer and perve over the balcony. When Scary and the girls turned up, they wanted to sit on cushions. Scary promised me that there we seats free, as well as cushions, so we gave up our table. I should have known better than to listen to Scary - there were no seats at all, but there were two sexy Russian birds. After two drinks, my old man bones were giving me jip, so I said that I was heading off. Only then did Suzanne and Kate move over, so that there was more space on the seats! Feeling more comfortable, I stayed for a few more beers before calling it a night. Scary carried on drinking with Ian, Kate, and Suzanne at the Russian bar, until he rolled back at about 4 o'clock. Scarily, he said "I love you", as he stumbled through the door!

Thursday 5th January - The Journey Back

Me Quadbiking

It was our last day in Egypt (boo), but BNBB had arranged a bit of quad-biking action for us. Since I had got to bed earlier than Scary, I was up in time for breakfast, and I ended up carrying all our dive kit back to our room, paying the diving and DVD bills, extending our check-in, and perving at totty. It's such a hard life. Somewhere amongst all that, I got a price-list for technical diving, but I haven't got a clue what I did with it.

We were pretty much packed by about 11 o'clock, so we went down to the pool, so that Scary could get a burger, and to meet everybody else (Ian and the DrySuitGuvnas were joining us). We ordered our food, and were then told about 15 minutes later that they couldn't get the grill to work. Gimmeration. Scary had to go quad-biking on an empty stomach.

We met the quad-biking guvna outside Burger King, got in a taxi minibus (almost getting the driver arrested for stopping when he shouldn't), and got driven into the desert (not very far). There were all the quad-bikes lined up. We all bought Yasa Arrafat head-scarves, to protect us from the dust and the midday sun. I was third in line, behind the guide, and a bloke and his pokey little kid. After a few minutes, the guide stopped, and I noticed that the bloke in front of me was talking on his mobile. It was like an episode of Trigger Happy TV ("I'm in the desert. No it's crap. All dry and lots of sand.").

After he'd finished his telephone call, we set off again. BNBB pulled along side me, and challenged me to a race. I was up for that, so overtook the guvna in front, and then overtook the guide. The guide wasn't very impressed, and told us all that we had to keep in line. The next time we stopped, we were lined up (almost as if we were all going to be shot). He went along each one of us, asking our names, and getting us to shout them, to listen to the echo. I told him that my name was "Gonad", but he didn't believe me. Scary tried a number of different names, but didn't get away with it either.

The guide stuck to a maximum speed of 30km/hr, which even I found a bit slow. At times, we all slowed down a bit, to get a bit of space in front, and then sped up quickly, so that we could get a few seconds of speed. I kept on trying this, but Toby (HonkingBoy) was right behind me and kept tooting his horn if I slowed down too much. Gimmeration. At the end of the session, we were all amused to see that the dust had given Claire a monobrow (MonobrowGirl).

After packing our stuff, tipping TowelFoldingBoy, checking out, and leaving our luggage at reception, we headed off into town. The incoming flight was delayed, so our coach to the airport was going to be leaving two hours later than we expected (check-out had even been extended by two hours as well). We didn't take advantage of the delayed check-out, and went to find somewhere that Scary could get a burger for his breakfast.

We wanted to go to the Camel Bar for a bit of spicy hot dog action, but it was closed (although I did smile at the "warning, may contain nuts" notice - I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before). JumpingBoy didn't serve hot dogs, so we carried on further down the street, and found somewhere that served burgers. As usual, it took ages to be served. Scary was getting quite ratty by the time the food turned up (it was now about 2pm, and he'd had nothing to eat all day). Once we'd eaten, we went off in search of some tat. We had a bit of a giggle haggling, but soon got bored. Today, Scary let me have an ice-cream at Ice Dream, but was upset that I got a cone, and he got a plastic tub with no spoon.

We headed back to the centre of town, to meet Suzanne and Kate for a bit of Mexican action (we weren't eating, but were going to have a few beers while they ate). They were not impressed to find out, after we'd ordered drinks, that they couldn't order food until 6pm. Scary and I weren't too bothered though! Back at the hotel, the coach still hadn't arrived, so we had a few beers in First Floor with BNBB.

At the airport, I had an argument with the trolley guvna, because he wouldn't take Egyptian pounds. Did he really think I was going to fall for that old trick? In the check-in queue, I gave Scary some dosh, so that he could bribe our way to a bit of leg-room action. He handed the money to the bloke who lifted the bags onto the check-in belt, and the bloke then promptly disappeared. Despite that, Scary managed to blag our way into some leg-room (and BNBB as well).

We met up with Ian, and the DrySuitGuvnas in the departure lounge, and had a few games of Uno, and then I Spy, to keep ourselves entertained. The Duty Free shop kept us oiled. We managed to sleep for most of the flight. This was a good thing, since we didn't get back to my gaff until 5am. Scary drove on to Bath, and I went to bed for a few hours before getting up for work.

Friday 6th January - Back at Work

A very tiring day!

Saturday 7th January

No tingling, or aches in my joints. I think I managed to get away bend free.

Note: You will see that beer featured quite heavily in this trip. However, we did take the diving seriously. We only did two dives a day, we took a break half-way through, and we did drink lots of water, both on dry land, and on the boat. Also, just because I surfaced with less than 50 bar, doesn't mean that it's a good idea (do as I say, not as I do).

PS: At the end of this trip, my total accumulated time underwater was 11 days, 11 hours, and 11 minutes. Do I get a poppy?

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