In the footsteps of Moses

Mount Sinai Travel Blog

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St Catherine's Monastry

At 3am we all piled into the minibus rugged up to the eyeballs and headed up to St Catherines monastery where we would be starting our climb. I've never hiked up a mountain in the dark before, I have to say it’s an experience and hard work when your tired! The track was sandy and very steep, it was about 4 hours to get to the top. It was unlike any hike we've done before, for the start there are huts with provisions of hot drinks and snacks every so many hundred meters going up the mountain. It was nice to stop and sit inside the warm huts which were colourfully decorated with Bedouin woven wall hangings and cushions and have a hot cup of tea! If you got tired of walking then you could flag down one of the many cameleers and hop onto a camel taxi. Walking up in the dark was also a challenge not to get run over by the camels as you wouldn't always hear them coming up behind you while you have a beanie covering your ears! Near the top of the mountain before you climb the thousand steps there was one last tea house where you could hire a blanket to take with you to the top.

Hiking up in the darkness
Kimo advised us to as it would be cold sitting around in the dark waiting for sunrise. So we trudged up the steps with blanket in tow. As we neared the summit there was a little Christian chapel which was closed to visitors. We all found a spot to sit and waited patiently for the sun to come up.

The sunrise was wonderful and worth the 4 hour walk, the sun bounced off the surrounding mountains echoing a deep red colour. It was not until the sun was up that we got to see the gorgeous scenery which we would enjoy on the way back down. On our decent I needed the facilities and found a dunny perched out on a small cliff, it sure was a 'Loo with a view'! We really enjoyed the decent and stopped many times to photograph and absorb the breathtaking scenery. On reaching St Catherine's Monastery we were all hoping to go in but it was Sunday and the monastery was shut.

Waiting at the top for sunrise

Back at camp we had nice hot showers and packed up ready for our two hour journey to Dahab. The bus journey was spent sleeping, even the driver decided to have a kip while still at the wheel and it was Ree’s quick observations that saved our necks! Dahab was a pleasant place, very hippyish and laid back and it was the last stop on the tour so we had a couple more days to enjoy our friends company as Vaughan and I would be leaving the tour here and not going back to Cairo with the others. After checking into our hotel we collapsed by the pool for the afternoon. There wasn't much to the beaches but the atmosphere of Dahab was very chilled and there were numerous cafe's and restaurants to enjoy and not to mention shopping ! Our hotel was very nice, right on the sea front and we had a dive shop so Vaughan and I booked ourselves in for a dive for the following day.

Sunrise Mt Sinai
We were very much looking forward to diving Dahab's well known dive site the Blue Hole and Canyon. In the afternoon Natalie and I had an enjoyable afternoon checking out the shops. In the evening Kimo took us all to a nice fish restaurant where fish meals were really cheap. Ree and I shared a fish platter where we picked what we want out of a tank so we picked lobster, crab and a nice local fish. The platter was only about 10 dollars the same back in Melbourne would cost me nearly $100!

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St Catherines Monastry
St Catherine's Monastry
Hiking up in the darkness
Hiking up in the darkness
Waiting at the top for sunrise
Waiting at the top for sunrise
Sunrise Mt Sinai
Sunrise Mt Sinai
All wrapped up in a stinky blanket…
All wrapped up in a stinky blanke…
The trail we took to get to the to…
The trail we took to get to the t…
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Mt Sinai sunrise
Lovely colours on the surrounding …
Lovely colours on the surrounding…
Mt Sinai
Mt Sinai
The little Christian chapel on top…
The little Christian chapel on to…
Mt Sinai
Mt Sinai
Lovely mountain scenery around Mt …
Lovely mountain scenery around Mt…
Mt Sinai
Mt Sinai
The little chapel on top of Mt Sin…
The little chapel on top of Mt Si…
The last stop before the summit!
The last stop before the summit!
The loo with a view on Mt Sinai
The loo with a view on Mt Sinai
The last stop to get supplied befo…
The last stop to get supplied bef…
Walking back down Mt Sinai
Walking back down Mt Sinai
A Camel Taxi on Mt Sinai!
A Camel Taxi on Mt Sinai!
Lovely gorges calve there way thro…
Lovely gorges calve there way thr…
Scenery around Mt Sinai
Scenery around Mt Sinai
If your dont want to walk to the …
If your don't want to walk to the…
St Catherines Monastery in the Da…
St Catherine's Monastery in the D…
Our Bedouin camp
Our Bedouin camp
Relaxing in Dahab
Relaxing in Dahab
The beach area by our hotel in Dah…
The beach area by our hotel in Da…
Fish platter for ten Aussie dollar…
Fish platter for ten Aussie dolla…
At the fish restaurant in Dahab
At the fish restaurant in Dahab
Fish meal Vaughan had ordered
Fish meal Vaughan had ordered
The group night out in Dahab
The group night out in Dahab
Dahab
Dahab
Smoking a Sheesha in the restauran…
Smoking a Sheesha in the restaura…
Enjoying a night out in the restau…
Enjoying a night out in the resta…
Enjoying a night out in the restau…
Enjoying a night out in the resta…
Mount Sinai
photo by: TravellingAuntie