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Published: October 16th 2007
The next morning we met up and set off across the Sinai desert
. ‘Desert’ is a real misnomer - actually the peninsula is extremely mountainous and very very beautiful. The soaring, rugged mountains range in colour from cream to brown and pink to red. Every twist and turn in the road brought a new and more magnificent view.
We drove south and then west to St. Catherine’s Monastery
which has been a place of pilgrimage since the 4th Century. It was absolutely packed with tourists and we found it very difficult to see the beautiful little 6th Century church, but we did spend time in the wonderful Museum which houses ancient manuscripts and icons. The Monastery closes at 12 midday and as we left I asked a Monk which was Mount Sinai? He replied in English and we started chatting. He was from Devon! Milla asked if there was any chance of seeing the church and he gave us a guided tour of the church (which was now empty of tourists) and the beautiful little chapel where the Burning Bush from which God spoke to Moses was originally supposed to be.
We camped that night well off the main road. We were just settling down to a drink before supper when three Bedouin turned up and settled themselves down. Despite the lack of any common language we chatted for a while before the real reason for them being there became clear - had we any whisky? We did not, but gave them each a beer and eventually they wandered off into the night and we were able to get on with our supper.
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