Apr 01, 2008
I finally got to ride a camel. There are multiple paths to the top of Sinai, but our group took the camel path. I decided to hire a camel for the trip up as I hurt my toe the day before. Everyone told me it would be very uncomfortable riding a camel, but it was more than comfortable. It's not like riding a horse. The camel only moves one foot off the ground at a time which keeps them stable even when they are slipping on the dirt path and sitting on a camel feels much higher off the ground. We started the climb to the summit around 2am and it took 3 hours to climb to the top. Some people were able to take the "Steps of Repentance" from the very bottom to the summit. We only climbed the last kilometre on the steps (without the camel). The steps are oddly shaped and some of them are 2-3 feet high. The stairs at the top are in severe disrepair from the thousands of tourists that come through each year. The summit was quite cold, but we toughed it out without renting a blanket. The sunrise was the most different sunrise I have every seen. It was as if the sun rose three times. There were so many thick clouds that each time there was enough of a break in the clouds enough to see the sun it was as if it were rising again. The trip down was much faster and the other tourists were almost running over each other trying to get down. The scenery was very picturesque. Saint Catherine's Monastery is still in use at the bottom of Mount Sinai, but they were closed for Easter. The driver was waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain to take us to Dahab and for us to sleep a bit on the bus.