Trip Start Nov 07, 2008
9Trip End Nov 24, 2008
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Morning arrived and I was feeling a little poorly in the belly region, and felt a little nervous about the dive, so Matt went solo. He has a DVD of digital photos, so will upload some of those too. He said it was amazing. We had a lazy day until we found out that we were supposed to check out at noon (our tour said we had the room until we left in the evening). Lucky for us the hotel was pretty empty, so they let us stay later.
The evening was spent bumming around the beach restaurants in Dahab before boarding a mini van with 5 Germans and 2 Koreans at around 11pm mini van to Mt Sinai. After a two hour bus ride, we made it to the base, where we joined a bunch of other people for the required mountain guide. Or I should say mountain goat! That man was moving so fast it was insane, and after 45 mins my body let me know exactly how poorly of a condition it was in with the belly trouble. Apparently worse than I thought, which made me glad I'd started the antibiotics.
However, I only started them 6 hours before leaving Dahab, and I honestly didn't think I was going to make it. But I kept going, stopping as frequently as I had to, and sucking down Gatorade. There were hundreds of camels it seemed, all of them for rent of course, and we had to give way to them up the path or be stomped while we trampled over the camel poo that covered the track.
I did consider hiring a camel for a bit, but once I'd made it halfway I was determined to make it on my own. Besides, the man told me it was 50 minutes to the summit by camel and 90 minutes on foot, but we'd already been passing camels even in my feeble condition. Plus it cost 60 EGP (negotiated of course) from the halfway point, and the camel could not make the sumit, some 750 steps to the top (would hardly call them steps though).
Of course the "50 minute camel ride" distance only took 45 mins on foot. Amazed that I made it; sweat suddenly evaporated in the frigid air, and we were suddenly freezing. There were several huts close to the top selling hot drinks, so we sat in one for a while to warm up. After haggling over the price of blanket rental, we took our big blankie and climbed the rest of the way.
There were fortress style ruins at the top, and the place was crowded. We found a little spot and crammed both of our entire bodies into the blanket. The wind was fierce and it was very cold. Hearing the rustling of others, we peeked out to see the sunrise was coming. Matt found us a good spot on a rock outcrop, and we watched what turned out to be a long and not so impressive sunrise.
Yes, we felt cheated for the three hours of effort it took to ascend the mountain where Moses supposedly made up the ten commandments. It got a thumbs down.
Getting down was a bitch, with hundreds of people all trying to descend at the same time. We skipped St Catherine's Monastery at the base as we were knackered. Then it was back to Dahab for a swim and lunch before boarding the bus back to Cairo. Boo. We made better time than the trip to Dahab though, leaving at 3pm and arriving 11:30pm.