Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mt Sinai Sunrise

Sunrise from Mt Sinai

Shelby on the Hike Down

While in Sharm el Sheikh, Shelby and I took an overnight tour that took us out in the desert of the Sinai to climb Mt Sinai and visit St Catherine's Monastery. Mt. Sinai (or Mt. Moses as it is called there) is the site where Moses received the 10 Commandments. St. Catherine Monastery (another UNESCO World Heritage site) is supposedly the oldest Christian monastery in the world and is said to sit on the site of the "Burning Bush" of old testament biblical fame.

We climbed Mt Sinai by flashlight. It was cold, I had the hiccups and felt terrible. The "hike" was about 7 kilometers (about 4.3 miles) one way with 750 "steps" at the top. The steps were covered in ice and snow, which was actually more of an issue on the way back down. I wore two t-shirts, a long sleeved shirt and a baggy sweater (which I loaned to Shelby most of the time). Shelby was better prepared for the cold, but I think she felt colder than I did. It was cold enough that when the nice scarf she had bought to wear inside St. Catherine Monastery got wet, I told her to wave it in the now risen froze into a solid sheet.

I'm not sure I would have gone if I realized ahead of time, how far it was, how cold it was, and how bad I would be feeling. Above are a couple of photos from our trek. Unfortunately, I didn't feel well enough on the way up to get good photos of the streams of people and their flashlights winding through the desert and up the mountain.

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