We managed to find a mega cheap all inclusive deal with Thompson, which isn't very usual for us as we normally wing it completely. £531 bought us flights, food and hotel and transfers. It all seemed to good to be true. To be fair it was excellent value for money. There was slight wrangling with big luggage at check in, but nothing major (ambiguous luggage policy grey area type stuff) Other than an extra bag bought here and ten quid for an Egyptian visa, we didn't spend another penny for twelve days. Cool.
|My new BFF|
We stayed at the Palm Royale (formerly the Intercontinental) at Soma Bay, which is about an hour south of Hurghada. It's a big, lush and completely preposterous hotel covered in gold with a reception like a mock stately home. The scale of it is ridiculous. It's certainly not aimed at kite tourists, more sun and pool lurkers, lardy Russians etc.
|Tweaking some pigtails|
It was a good opportunity to get some promotional photos sorted and get a feel for the new equipment. In summary, the PD has more power per size, and new Dacron means the wingtips are stiffer giving an even more positive feel on the bar. The WT4 12m was used a lot, and we are glad it was held back for more R&D, as it's morphed into a great biggest kite for anyone up to 80kgs. Full of low end and accessible power, and snappy turning. I spent most time on this kite. The wind conditions allowed me to test everything from 6 to 14m. Sarah spent the week getting all her usual tricks dialled in boots. With her snowboard background it makes a lot of sense, and the crossover was easy.
|Sylvester camera whorin'|
Our travelling buddies for this trip were our good friends and neighbours Phil and Harry (11), and we were coaching/teaching Harry. The flat water paid dividends and Harry progressed to doing jumps, toeside and by the end of the week. Kids learn alarmingly fast!
|Hazza (future talent alert) on the 6m PD5|
It was a great trip, simple eat/sleep/kite routine with a strange lack interaction with Egyptian culture, which isn't our usual travel style. We might as well have been on the moon, just with loads of flat turquoise water and endless food.