After all this divine inactivity we felt that at least one day should be spent on something strenuous, to appease the conscience more than anything. So, we booked a day trip to St. Katherine's monastery and Mt. Sinai.
After all this divine inactivity we felt that at least one day should be spent on something strenuous, to appease the conscience more than anything. So, we booked a day trip to St. Katherine’s monastery and Mt. Sinai.
One reason to have stayed in bed became evident when we got into the van and were seated next to an American guy who felt it his divine duty to share (at the top of his voice) all the places he had been in the world and how he still thought America was the best place in the world.. and the best food … etc. so, we made jokes about him the whole trip telling him there will be snipers waiting at St. Katherines to take him out, and they will be burning their precious flag. He took the hint and was slightly subdued.
Upon reaching we made a beeline for the monastery which was unspeakably crowded with tour groups and lost Italians. We quickly snooped around, the church being the most impressive part, and went to get something to eat. We ended up finding nothing and having had no breakfast either it dawned on us that this climb was going to kill us.
We started the climb (foolishly) at midday, when the sun was the hottest. I do not claim to be a mountain climber, nor do I feel that my masculinity is challenged by saying that I was dying up that hill. I am sure on a full stomach and without 6 days of beer and sleeping it would have been easier, but I was out of breath after about 10 minutes. Anyways, after about 2 hours we made it to what seemed like the top, having almost been overtaken by a group of pensioners (which put the fear of God into me and I subsequently accelerated), only to find out it wasn’t the top… at all.
Then came two jolly Americans who had just made it to the top and were on their way down. They stopped to talk and told us that it was only 5 minutes more to the peak. The first glimmer of hope shot through my body and I started climbing the steps. It turned out to be more than 25 minutes from there to the peak, and the last part was the most demanding of the whole climb… but when we finally did reach the top it was worth every drop of sweat. The panorama up there is breathtaking… the chocolate colored mountains running as far as the
eye can see, and the small tea shop at the top selling comfort for 5 Egyptian pounds. We lay on the rocks up there for at least an hour, resting and just enjoying the feeling of accomplishment and watching the sun slowly set.
The way down was fun…we just ran.