I was last here in June 2009 for a week, this time, just a fleeting visit , I was determined to return, it felt so good to be back. A wonderful greeting from Heidi and Greta and how lucky that the lodge was not busy in the run-up to Christmas when they are fully booked.
I arrived in the evening in time for dinner, there were only 2 other guests, we sat down in the Bedouin tent with a charcoal fire (the evenings are really chilly) it was very relaxed with Greta and her family, also Heidi. The dinner was amazing, none of us could eat all that had been put on our plates. We laughed all evening. There was a childrens party, I had met some of the girls during my previous visit, they love these evenings and I don't know where they get the energy to dance all night. They are not shy at all, the boys and male staff also enjoy the music and dancing.
At the end of the evening I was so tired, but the night sky was so alluring I spent some time wrapped in my blanket outside my room watching the shooting stars. I can still see the image when I close my eyes. The morning brings different images, of mountains slowly appearing across the sea in Saudi Arabia, they change colour during the day as the sun comes up and goes down, I can sit and watch for hours.
The next day after breakfast I talked with some girls and women who had come to sell some souvenirs. There is a good system in place at the lodge that anyone is welcome to come and chat at any time with the visitors, but, they can only come to sell on the visitors final day, this avoids all the hassle you might get in other places, there is no pressure.
The snorkelling is not the best immediately in front of the lodge, but just a short drive away you can see more fish and better coral.
This is a lodge in a Bedouin village, do not expect plush surroundings, air-conditioning, 4 poster beds. The rooms are clean and adequate, there is plentiful hot water in the clean shower block, the toilets are clean.
I recommend this lodge for independent travellers who want to relax and unwind, visitors who want to get some insight into the life of the Bedouin people, use this place as a base for visits to the desert, the canyons, St Katherine's monastery, diving etc etc
I hope to return in February 2010. Inshallah!