In the footsteps of Moses
Mount Sinai Travel Blog› entry 18 of 22 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.