Another early morning start had us passing the Suez Canal in the morning and to the middle of the Sinai peninsula by lunch time. In the afternoon we were climbing Mount Sinai. Being the masochist that I am, I opted for the 3,750 Steps of Repentance. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. In fact if its possible for me to ever have the least bit of enjoyment in hiking, this was it, perhaps because the climb was primarily stairs, and the atmosphere dry and cold. Mt. Sinai tops out at 2,285m where Moses supposedly received the 10 Commandments from God. We watched the sun set over the Sinai mountains, which, while not all that spectacular, was quite meaningful. Then we had a precarious walk down in the moonlit night and I rolled my left ankle a little, but certainly enough to renew my dislike of hiking.
The next morning we returned to visit St. Katherine Monastery, built around the descendant bush of the supposedly original Burning Bush. However the monastery is closed on all Greek Orthodox holidays and the day we happened to be there was apparently Epiphany.
After the disappointment over the closed monastery we drove to the town of Nuweiba to buy a few snacks and supplies before the restful part of the trip: laying on the (very cold) beach of the Red Sea for 2days. Our accommodation consisted of beach front property and individual grass huts, each with a small mattress and mosquito net inside. We had the whole place to ourselves and while the place would have been wonderful in spring or fall, in the middle of Egypt coldest winter in 40years, it was just cold. At night I managed to keep warm because the hut blocked the wind and my sleeping bag was warm. While the weather was not ideal, the relaxation and extra sleep was certainly necessary after many very early mornings and poor nights sleep earlier in the trip. The time has also allowed me to catch up on this blog and to contemplate the next few weeks with regard to the Kenya situation and what to do in the weeks immediately after that when I return to China.
Tomorrow afternoon we take the ferry across to Jordan… Pictures from Egypt