The last day of my stay came around very quickly. My days have been so full, I could not have done one more thing. I was supposed to meet a FB friend who happened to be there at the same time, but the day before was very hectic. So at last, on this last day, I thought I would give it a try. Things fell in place quickly and we managed to meet for breakfast in the marina. Lovely meeting people whom you already like on FB then on seeing them in person that liking is confirmed. While having breakfast my brother called and invited him to join us at 1 at the boat, which he tentatively accepted.
After breakfast I had intended to call my cousins to try and arrange another meeting in the morning as some were leaving early in the afternoon. But when I got home my brother was there and said to hurry and get my things as we were taking the speedboat out for a run before going to the boat for the day. So off I went , scrambled into more comfortable clothes and jumped into the speedboat, which my brother was driving. My niece was there and took her seat at the front of the boat while I sat on the seat next to my brother.
The ride was a thrill. He took the boat out of the little lagoon where it is moored just outside the house. Skillfully maneuvered it around the rocks, then navigated around the lagoons at a very reasonable speed and only opened her up when we got to the open sea. He let her rip. It was very thrilling. He took me around to see the new marina, he showed me the different sites, pointing out where his house was. While cruising along we saw a dolphin. I was so thrilled! But unfortunately was not fast enough to take a shot of it, as another speedboat rushed by and he disappeared. We then cruised about some more, then took another dash towards the marina where the boat was moored. By the time we got to the boat it was just after 1 pm and most of the guests were on board.
Getting out of the boat I realized that I had been there long enough to be dehydrated and slightly singed by the sun. The skin on my face and arms felt tight and a bit burnt, but I was exhilarated by the ride and by the pictures I had taken. Coming on board we were greeted by those already there, including my friend of this morning. We were waiting for one more person, but finally took off. My brother had told me that today they will be taking the boat through its paces and going for a real run, and recommended that I take a position on the lower deck at the back of the boat and watch the foam generated by its speed.
A few minutes later I was told to go stand in position, when the boat started revving up and it’s speed started increasing. With every minute it got faster and the foam got higher and higher, till at one point to went higher than my head. Absolutely thrilling, and a bit scary as well. I kept asking the deck hands who were standing at either end of the deck if the water was likely to sweep in on board and they kept reassuring me that it would not.
When I was comfortable enough I started shooting this impressive spectacle, then turned it into a live clip, for the glory of the sea, the strength of the foam and the speed of the boat could never be captured by a still picture. I filmed the foam at the back, then slowly turned to show the side of the boat, then a bit of a glimpse of the front, with the silhouette of the boat showing in the foam on the side, then slowly, back to the foam in the back. A breathtaking experience and one which I won’t forget easily.
The rest of the day was the same as the first day we had taken the boat out, but this time I thought I would not eat as I had had a huge breakfast. This turned out to be a vain hope, by the time lunch was served I was ravenous and did justice to the food. We turned abound and headed home so as to be able to dock by 6 pm , and as usual the now habitual anthem of “Teslam el Ayadi” was played as we docked, to the cheers and joy of those on the pier.
After docking, the bridegroom who happened to be jogging on the pier, came on board and was again congratulated on his wedding. While we were doing the honors I was told that the plane will be taking off at seven. Panic! I hadn’t even packed! So when my brother said he was off to the house before going to the field, I jumped at the chance to have some moments to pack before going to the airport. I took a hasty leave of all, jumped into the car with my brother and off we went.
Packing was a very hurried business as I only had a few minutes before we were scheduled to go to the airport for our flight back to Cairo. I was done just in time for a member of the staff to come carry my bag down to the waiting cars, hurriedly kissed my brother and thanked him for a lovely time, then off we went, an entourage of three cars, with the luggage, the member of the staff who was coming back with us, carrying the cat in his box, taking up the other two cars.
By the time we reached the airport it was dark, but the plane was ready and waiting, and the rest of the passengers started arriving in ones and twos. We were the same people who had flown in from Cairo, but one more friend was added. Once all were there we boarded.
Once I sat down in the plane I felt all the tiredness of the world. It seemed that I had a slight heat stroke from the ride in the speedboat, and all the rushing, since the early morning left me rather exhausted. So I just settled down, opened my iPad and started reading.
The other three women were all talking to one another, but I was too tired to take part in the conversation. After a bit one of them asked my sister in law if I was asleep, she answered no, that I was reading, then the friend remarked, like aunt like niece, as my niece also had her nose in a book a few seats further down. I smiled at the idea that my niece is taking after me. But the conversation did not stop there, one remarked at how closely I resembled my brother, and this really tickled my sense of humor. My sister in law then started teasing me by pretending to complain at being left to entertain the bridegroom who was mine and my brother’s cousin, while we both took off. Another quickly came to my defense that I had to go home and pack. They were very frankly making remarks about me while I was sitting there reading. This was priceless. It felt so good. They now feel so comfortable with me they can do that. It gave me such a lovely feeling of warmth and friendship, it just put the icing on my cake.
We finally arrived at the airport but had to exit from another door as a news conference was being held in front of the usual door. This was about three pieces of stolen antiquities that were returned to Egypt. A great deal of that has been going on in Egypt since the revolution in 2011 and the breakdown in security.
The cars that were to take us to our respective homes started arriving, all but mine. This is a limousine hired to take me to the apartment. My sister in law and one friend refused to leave until they were sure I was in the car. Just a few moments later my car showed up. There were hurried goodbyes, and a hurried but very sincere Thank you to my sister in law for all her hospitality, but mainly for her kindness and sensitivity in handling my first visit to them after losing my Mom. This I really appreciate and would never forget.
By the time I reached the apartment I was on my last legs. The weather was very hot, even late in the evening, so I just turned the A/c on in my room and in a few minutes, and for the fourth day in a row, slept like a log.