Diving and yoga – Dorothy reviews learning two new skills in Egypt
“It was a fantastic combination of yoga and diving instruction. Not only did I achieve my PADI diving certificate but I also came back far more flexible and relaxed. www.GoLearnTo.com is a very efficient and professional company, and I will definitely be using them again!”
When Dorothy of Hampshire took our yoga and scuba diving holiday in Dahab, not only did she fall in love with the underwater world and upped her flexibility, she made some great new friends too!
Read more about her experience…
Did you come to the website initially looking for a scuba diving and yoga holiday?
Not really, I was looking for an interesting new skill to learn in a warm country. However, learning to dive had been on my ‘bucket list’ for some time so I was drawn to this when I saw it.
What attracted you to this holiday in particular?
I thought the combination of yoga and diving sounded perfect and I had wanted to learn both skills for some time. I felt the yoga might help me with the breathing required for diving and it would be a nice combination of some gentle and full-on activities.
How did you find the booking process with NotInTheGuideBooksand did anyone in particular help you?
The booking process was really easy. I spoke with Sarah on the phone who answered all my queries; I also subsequently dealt with Katy and Jane who couldn’t have been more professional and helpful. Any question was dealt with within a few hours and two of my emails were responded to in the evenings which I was particularly impressed with.
I have dealt with many travel companies before but would say NotInTheGuideBookswould be well on the top of the list, giving a very personal and professional service. There was no hard sell, the team genuinely seemed to care that I get the right holiday for me.
What were your teachers like for the yoga and diving?
Monica, my yoga teacher was absolutely passionate about yoga and provided her students with some great insights about the philosophy of yoga as well as the classic poses. She had a really calming persona. The yoga classes took place for 1.5 hours each morning for six mornings and as a beginner, I felt that I received some intensive tuition. Often there were only 3 or 4 of us in the class which was held in a lovely purpose-built building in the hotel grounds.
My dive instructor was a young Egyptian guy who once again was very professional and passionate about what he does. As a 50 something lady first-time diver on my own, he certainly showed me kindness and patience. However, this was not to say he was soft! He really put me through my paces and there were many occasions when I felt well out of my comfort zone but he seemed to have just the right amount of tough love and support.
What was your accommodation at Bedouin Moon like?
If you are looking for a 5 star hotel don’t come here. It is basic and clean and I had a lovely sea-facing room. The food was ok, although the ambience in the dining room could be improved and there are no indoor seating areas to meet up with friends.
There is, however, a lovely swimming pool and many redeeming qualities. The dive school which is probably the best in Dahab is right next door to the hotel and this is one of the friendliest hotels I have ever stayed at. The staff are fantastic and many of the guests were on their own so it was easy to make friends. Everyone seemed to talk to everyone and there was a lovely warm atmosphere.
If you come here on your own you will certainly not feel alone. The dive school organises all the transport to the dive sites and you can easily get a cheap taxi into the town or walk along the beach which is lovely during the day. I had dinner almost every night in town and there are many lovely seafront cheap restaurants to choose from. The fresh fish on offer is great.
What was your favourite part of the holiday?
It is hard to pin down one or two favourite aspects as it was the combination of things that made it a really special week.
Learning two new skills in a week, meeting new friends, getting some winter sunshine and the warmth of the Egyptian people all contributed to a lovely week.
Achieving my PADI diving qualification was a fantastic achievement given my fear level at the beginning of the holiday. The course was harder than I imagined and there were moments when I felt like giving up but the qualification is my ticket to an undersea world which I absolutely fell in love with.
Would you take another holiday with NotInTheGuideBooksin the future?
I would definitely take another holiday with NotInTheGuideBookshaving explored the website. I had no idea there were so many interesting courses to do and I have my idea on several, maybe a language course or cooking or both!
What would you tell people who were considering booking this holiday?
If anyone is thinking of considering the yoga/diving holiday, I would say don’t think about it too long, just do it. There will always be reasons not to do things like this, and my fear of the unknown nearly stopped me doing it. I wondered, would I like yoga? Would the hotel be ok? Would I be too scared of being underwater? Could I remember all the technical diving stuff I would be tested on? Would I be eaten by a shark? Would the political situation be a problem? Etc. Etc.
You will need to be a fairly independent type (I have an annual travel adventure without my husband) but once you get there a whole team of people kick in to support you, and they all want to make it a fantastic experience for you.
A top tip if you want to do the Open Water PADI course is to get a manual/video before you go and go through the whole thing testing yourself. This could save you a day in a very hot hut going through five long videos when you could have been in the water from day one.
Another tip is: I found mask clearing really tricky. Practice in the bath before you go. I didn’t know this at the time.
*Please note that this course is no longer available – click here for our full range of yoga holidays*