All but Ray and Wendy who decided not to climb to the top of Mt. Moses.
DAY 37 - Sunday, 17 May 2009
Ring, Ring!?! Oh that's our 5AM wake up call. We leave Cairo early because of a long drive to the Sinai. Our new group comprises of Wendy & Ray from the last trip (NZ), Diana (AUS), Vicky(AUS), Robin(AUS) who is also an Occupational therapist. Angie is wondering if she talks shop can she deduct this trip from her taxes? Daniel and Rachel (AUS), May (Malta) who is a speech therapist and David (IRE), a total of 12. Jess is our energetic NZ leader. She has been doing tours here in the middle east for years and recently bought a house (ruin) in Capadoccia, Turkey. A chimney house which she is going to renovate and set up as a B & B.
We get a big surprise when we find out that our mini bus is actually a 54 seat touring bus. So everyone can have their own little space on the bus
Along the way we get to go under the Suez Canal. A rather lack luster event but the closest we get to it.
The Sinai was given back to Egypt in the Peace Accord back in the late
70's the agreement won Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace prize. The Egyptian government then gave the land to the Bedouin tribes.
Another historic site that we drive through is the Oasis (which is the largest one in the Sinai). The Israelites stayed here during their escape from Egypt,
We reach our destination St. Catherine's around noon. We have lunch and couple of hours before we trek up Mt. Moses (Mt. Sinai). This is where Moses received the 10 commandments.
At the top of Mt. Moses is a church that is built over the supposed site of where the stone lays that the 10 commandments were written. The small church has been closed since the l980's because of vandalism.
Francine and I choose to do the first 2 hours on camel back and then walk the 800 steps to the top.
We thank heaven that there were camels to ride. The walk was a switchback and the total climb was around 12 miles all very steep. The steps alone took an hour to walk up.
We arrived at the summit at 6:30 and waited for the sunset. As soon as the sun hit the mountains we were
off trying to get to the bottom of the steps before dark. The trek down in total darkness was tricky and dangerous. Angie couldn't understand why people were passing her and not using there flashlights until May asked her why she was still wearing my sunglasses. DUH!! The trek off the mountain was rapid and in the process she forget to change glasses. We walked with caution all the way down with only flashlights to see and it took 2 hours because of the rough and sandy terrain. The sand was fine gravel and if you stepped on it on the edge of a rock you went sliding, now matter how good a grip your shoes had.
Some of the group had dinner, but us, no dinner, we snack on some food we had and a banana, shower and off to get a good night's sleep.
Tot: 3.312s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 12; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0498s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb