November and December are my favourite months in Egypt. Days are warm, up to 28 degrees, and mostly sunny. After the intense heat of August to October, walking during the middle of the day becomes a pleasure again instead of a challenge. Nights and early mornings are getting cold. One week you are sweating and don’t even want a sheet covering you, the next you are hunting out the blanket. Habibi the cat has returned to the bed to snuggle, after months of preferring the cool ceramic floor or the garden.
The sun rises much later, and in the morning the sea is too cold for my liking so now I take a long walk and quick swim, rather than the other way around as it was two months ago. When I have a day off I swim for longer, as the water warms up by the middle of the day. The beaches here remain uncrowded, although nearby Sharm is attracting many Europeans escaping their much colder winter.
We did have two rare bursts of rain and hail this week. One of the Bedouin told me that it is more than 20 years since he has seen hail here. The hailstones were small compared to those we sometimes experience in Australia, but it provided a few minutes of excitement for the Egyptians, who don’t see this often.
While these thunderstorms each lasted only about 15 minutes (the first one also knocked out our electricity), the rain took my mind back to the days of heavy rain that hit Siwa a few months after my arrival there, and the flooding of the house and T’s cafe.
I had already been comparing winter here to winter in Siwa. I love being by the sea in any season, but I am missing evenings swimming in the hot springs, hours talking with tourists and locals around the fire at Palm Trees Hotel, and the star-filled skies above the palms surrounding Cleopatra Spring and how peaceful it was when we had it all to ourselves. In Nuweiba I enjoy seeing the camels wandering the streets down to the sea, but I miss the sounds of the Siwa donkeys and their carts.
Nuweiba has its beauty, but it can never replace Siwa in my heart.
Nuweiba – camels stroll to the beach, a hail storm, views clear across the sea, and moody sunsets with full moon