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He explains many Egyptians, Nemo included, left London for Cairo to help their families during the revolution. And only now, he tells me, is there a feeling of optimism in the country.

Though the realities of Egypt’s revolution seem a million miles from El Gouna, the effects on tourism can still be felt – and seen – today.

There is one main gate for tourists which is guarded 24 hours a day, and the town has its own police force. I haven’t felt in danger here, but the high levels of security are a reminder of the conflict that is still going on in the rest of the country.

Standing at the bar, I strike up a conversation with Mia, a friendly New Zealander in her early twenties. She says: “I’ve been a Goonie [El Gouna resident] for about seven months. I think this place makes you a little bit crazy, but in a good way. People always come back.”

Staring up at the million bright stars in the night sky above, with the Red Sea glistening like warm treacle behind us, and imagining a life kiting, I can understand why.

 

Best of the rest: Watersports in El Gouna

There are plenty of other watersports on offer in El Gouna, so if you find kitesurfing too tough, try one of these other activities.

Catamaran

Three-hour day trips aboard 62ft catamaran Ocean Diva run 9am-12pm or 12.30pm-3.30pm, anchoring at a reef for snorkelling and swimming.

Two-hour sunset cruises are available, departing one hour before sunset, including soft and alcoholic drinks and canapés.

orange-elgouna.com

Parasailing

Take to the air parasailing for £24 per single 10-minute flight or £32 for a double flight, including up to an hour’s boat ride out to the parasailing site.

orange-elgouna.com

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding sessions are 15 minutes, with one session costing £24 or three sessions at £22 each.

orange-elgouna.com

Scuba diving

Scuba diving is immensely popular along the Red Sea, thanks to the teeming life in its salty waters. Emperor Divers offers a PADI Open Water course for £266.40.
 
emperordivers.com

Getting there

Egyptair flies from London Heathrow to Hurghada via Cairo from £465 return.

egyptair.com

When to go: The best times to visit are April/May and November/December when the weather is cooler, but the wind
is still strong enough for kitesurfing. Winter is less windy.

Currency: £1 = EGP 9.8 (Egyptian pound)

Accommodation: Mövenpick Resort and Spa in El Gouna has accommodation starting from £90pn for a double room, which includes a breakfast buffet.

See: moevenpick-hotels.com

Laura learned IKO levels 1 and 2 (International Kite Boarding Organisation) which costs £280pp, including equipment and 11 hours of tuition with RedSeaZone  http

 

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock, Laura Laker


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Big trip to Egypt: Daredevil kitesurfing and hard partying in El Gouna
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