The world is familiar with the term and the sport of ‘Snowboarding’. It has gained even more recognition since it has become an Olympic winter sport. Unfortunately for  most Middle Easterners we will never have the experience of skiing, skating or snowboarding because we don’t get any snow. We do have a hell of a lot of sand though!!! So, while there are nations who enjoy their winter sports, here in  Egypt we are able to enjoy the experience of ‘Sandboarding’.

Picture this, your in the desert with nothing surrounding you but dunes and flat plains. Everything is so still and quiet that time could have stopped and you wouldn’t even know. The only thing that reassure you that you are not dreaming is the sound of your beating heart and breathing and the humming of your 4X4’s engine. As you ascend from the car and look ahead of you, you are taken in by the enormous sand dune. Next to it, you feel like an ant next to a building. ‘I’m supposed to climb up that and board down it?’ you ask yourself while gazing up at  a tall virgin sand dune that may have never been climbed before you. You take your board, wax the bottom of it and carry it up to the top of the dune. Once at the top of the dune you place your board gently down on the sand as you prepare yourself for a thrilling ride. You carefully get on the board, whilst extending your arms to maintain your balance, you take in a deep breath and finally tilt your weight forward. The second the weight has been tilted there is no going back, you are well on your way boarding down the dune, with waves of sand blowing up on either side, you gather speed the further down you go and you just keep on going! Your heart pounds as fast as a humming birds wings and you have a mix of terrified and thrilling emotions! You lose your balance and wipe out! The fall is cushioned by the soft sand and although you have stopped your board kept on going and is waiting for you to pick it up again and go back up the dune.

This isn’t something I thought up. I really wish I could take credit for it, but Alas, I can’t. However, more and more travel companies in Egypt are getting creative and are coming up with fun trips and weekend trips that people can do. A friend of mine has one of these companies. His family owns Holiday Tours. Yehia, is a big fan of the out doors and is trying to show his fellow country men that there is more than going to restaurants and going to cafes. There is so much more to do and see in Egypt.

I decided to go on some of his trips companies weekend trips. So far I have been to Islamic Cairo, A Hike up the Chain of Red Sea Mountains in Ein El Sokhna, Horseback Riding in the Sakara desert and Sandboarding. Every trip was very different from the other and each time I had a fun-filled experience. My appreciation for the outdoors has grown a lot. I’ve come to realize that I’m more of a desert gal than I am a mountaineer. I enjoy spending the day away from the noisy, crowded streets,  unbearable traffic and polluted air. I find it to be rejuvenating to be out in the middle of no where, away from civilization and giving my ears a rest and filling my lungs with clean unpolluted air. I look forward to receiving updates on facebook telling me what ‘Weekend’ trips have planned. I am not always able to join them, but when I am able to I don’t think twice about going.

I can’t wait to go sandboarding again and horseback riding!!!

If you are planning a trip to Egypt, please do go and see some of the historical sites, but do try something adventurous too. You will have a lot of stories to tell your friends when you get back home. If you are a resident of Egypt, then do something different!!

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