Aden 25th - 27th August

david and margaret ritchie
Tue 29 Aug 2006 11:50
We were both very half hearted about stopping in Aden expecting it to be
hot, smelly, and full of insects and gangsters. In the event it turned out
to be one of the best stops so far.
It was hot but the anchorage got a good breeze and we met up again with the
Italians and the Frenchman we had first met in port Said.There were
virtually no flies, we never saw a Yemeni with a gun and although a bit
untidy Aden was clean and full of character and characters.
The views in Aden are so different with the whole place being built on the
barren rocks , most of the houses clinging to the steep sides of the
hills.The officials, although on the make, were nothing like as bad as in
Egypt and although a major shipping port there was plenty of room and time
given to the visiting yachts.The Yemeni people were so very interested and
welcoming. A major factor for us was always being asked if we were British,
never once English and everyone wished to have the British base back.
The women were all dressed in the full black Burka , many with the full
veil covering the eyes and we did not see any in the restaurants etc but
they were obviously happy and would all say hello and welcome as you passed.
The eyes were dark and very alluring.
We used a local taxi driver to get around during the day which was the only
viable solution but at night we went out and visited the restaurants and
markets on our own,.They were bustling, noisy and so completely different
they were never threatening. I have a penchant for heading up back alleys
Margaret never complained. The buses were like the Turkish Dolmus's but
older , faster and it was like being on a roller coaster.
When we first met our Italian friends in Port Said we had each taken advice
from different people and landed up at the same fish restaurant at the other
end of Port Said. This time they had asked a taxi driver while we met a chap
on the street who took us via bus completely across Aden to a restaurant but
again we met and had a meal with the Italians.They were 3 , a woman and 2
men , on a 35 ft monohull and were feeling pretty sorry for themselves after
the journey down the Red sea.
After 2 days we decided to head on as it seemed wrong to put off the next
bit of the journey which is perhaps the most daunting , 3 days up Pirate
Alley then 3 days round the top of Socatra where gales are the norm. We had
just checked out and lifted our anchor when Nicollete of Leigh , an English
couple we have been in touch with entered the anchorage. They had given us
really good advice via email but were doing the journey the slow, and hard,
way and were very tired after a trip from Mussawa. As they were talking
about a 2 week stop in Aden we decided to continue but look forward to
seeing them again in Thailand which is also their eventual destination