Friday 19 June 2009
Highlights: Trekking up Mt Sinai, Mountain Ranges at Sunrise
With views so spectacular it’s difficult to do them justice in words. We got a wakeup call at 1.00 am and were off to trek up Mt Sinai at 1.30 am arriving about 15 minutes later. As expected Mark decided to sleep in, who can blame him with a 1 am start and a 7 km hike up a mountain in the dark to wait for a sunrise. However in my case I just had to do it and it turned out to be a life highlight.
We took the walking path, which still meant lots of rocks and other obstacles as opposed to the suicidal ”stairs” leaping from rock to rock. We got the last section ‘stairs’ after about 2 hrs and 40 minutes and then started the hard trek of 750 steps (basically arranged rocks of different sizes). As we were 2,500 meters above sea level and it was a long way up I found it a bit tough at the end but we all made it.
As this is the low season (summer being so hot) there weren’t many people up the top. We got prime positions and waited about a 1 hr 30 minutes and boy was it worth the wait. Watching the sun rise across the different mountains has to be seen to be believed. There were a few people at the top from different religions quietly praying and singing, no one got in anyone’s way, where you were religious or not people just enjoyed nature at its best.
While Lesley rightly got a little upset with an individual who climbed on a rock in front of us at one point after we had been waiting an hour in the cold we still managed to get some great shots. I even walked / climbed around to different points, there should be a photo somewhere of me next to a danger sign!
Marco eventually managed to do a hand stand! Marco decided to take the steps back down, a crazy guy Marco. It took a faction of the time to get back to the base and it was already hot at 8 am when we returned, I don’t think I would have made the day hike in the heat. After a really quick shower and breakfast we headed off to Cairo for a 7 hour bus trip. With nothing planned for the night we all had dinner together before heading our separate ways. Tomorrow is the last real day of this tour.