Cairo, Sinai, Dahab, EGYPT
28.10.2007 - 31.10.2007 31 °C
Sunday the 28th of October
After waving goodbye to our ex Kumuka travellers we headed to Sinai for our much anticipated climb to the top of Mt Sinai. We headed off around 8am and made our way past the Suez Canal before stopping for the usual truck lunch. I don't think we have spoken about the lovely truck lunches that we are treated to so i'll give them a quick plug. The first day we had the experience we thought it was great. Pita bread, cold meat, tuna, and basic salad. Sounds nice huh? Trying having that everytime we have a truck lunch with sometimes stale bread and you soon get over it! Krystal ended up aborting the bread and just eating tuna and some salad. Shouldn't whinge to much though, the food is better than somethings that I have seen around here being sold.
After our lunch we packed up and headed to the base of Mt Sinai. We arrived before dark so it was good to get things set up and ready for an early dinner. After dinner we threw on our hiking boots (first time ever worn), packed our day packs and got set for our hike up the mountain.
We were greated by our guide, Akmal who was going to take us to the top of the mountain. This huy is 18 years old, speaks 5 or 6 different languages, and climbs up the mountain everyday! Pretty impressive! There were a couple of options that you could take to get up this mountain and they included the following:
1. Get a camal to the base of the stairs and climb the final 750 steps to the top.
2. Hike the camal trail to the base and climb the final 750 steps which takes about 2 1/2 hours and is approx 8kms
3. Chuck a right at the beginning of the mountain and climb the 3000 steps that Moses appartently took on his journey.
We opted for option 2 which was a good idea because 3000 steps would have been an absolute nightmare, and option 1 was a cheats way. Well thats what we thought but a couple of our team took some camals due to some niggling injuries they have encountered in their life.
After a 2 hour hike up the mountain which was surprisingly not too bad we made our way to a little cafe/coffee shop where you got to hire a sleeping mat and blanket for the overnight camp. We then headed to the base of the 750 stairs which was the final part of our journey up Mt Sinai.
After 15 minutes of vertical climbing we made it to the top and to our delight there wasn't another sole up there. Good thing we left so early becuase it gave us 1st pick of where we wanted to set up camp for the night before anyone else came up. We were told that there is a little Monistary that fits a small number of people on the rooftop so we hulled our stuff on the top of the roof and had the best spot on top of the mountain, ready for the sunrise. We set up our beds and fell asleep pretty quickly after the eventful day and evening we had.
Monday the 29th of October
3am we were treated to some lovely Russians shining torches in our eyes asking one another "are they asleep? Are they sleeping?" Well we were until you started shining torches in our eyes you silly vodka drinking bastards! For the next couple of hours more and more people made their way up the top of Mt Sinai and began the crazy push for the best possible spot. To our delight we had the best spot and the power to tell them to get off the ladder whenever anyone tried to come up with us!
As the time got closer for the sun to come up (about 5:30am) I began to feel rather ill. Actually I began to feel like shit. I tried to hold onto my bodies desires but it became too strong and I had to make a mad dash through the crowd to try and find somewhere to relieve myself. Now as you can imagine this would not have been an easy task and with very limited facilities on top the mountain and limited light I had few choices. I rammed through people before giving up and sheltering (well as best I could in the situation) myself, dropping my shorts and blasting away. Sorry to disgust you all but this story has to be told. Top and bottom I let rip with everything I had in me! This was not a pretty site at all. Not only for me, but also for the others who proberly got the pleasure of watching a very sick Aussie demolish the mountain top.
After trying to clean myself up I made it back to the rooftop with minutes to spare to see the sunrise over Mt Sinai. Something I couldn't care less about due to the circumstances. Once the sun came up and Krystal snapped the camera to capture the moment I was off like a flash to get down this platou.
During my dash down I made numerous stops before we managed to reach the bottom much to my delight. During our dash down, Krystal also started to go downhill (not only in the walking area) and needed some urgent toilet assistance. We ran to the toilets and both started our day from hell.
Soon everyone else made it to the bottom and we ate (well the others did) and packed up the truck and headed off to Dahab. We arrived at Dahab around 12 and Krystal and I headed straight to our room where the only movement we made for the next 21 hours was back and forth to the bathroom. Clearly the sickest we have been on the trip by far and something pretty bad would have to occur to beat it!
Statistics for our day from hell were the following.
Matt = 10 poos and 4 spews
Krystal = 5 poos and 6 spews
21 hours sleep
100mls of water consumed between the two of us in 1 and 1/2 days
Tuesday the 30th of October
After a looooooooooooong sleep we both woke up feeling 500% better than the previous day and made our way down to meet the others for breakfast. Everyone was quite glad to see us alive and looking better than the last time we had seen them all. After some breaky we arranged to go and have a snorkel at the Blue Hole. The blue hole is a reef about 30 minutes from Dahab that is meant to be fantastic for snorkeling and diving. It was an amazing place as the drop off from the shore is massive. Back in the 70's some bloke blew up the section of the reef to see what was below. He managed in making a 100m deep hole in his efforts that is now a great spot for tourists to see. We snorkeled for a coupe of hours and saw some pretty cool coral and fish along the way.
Once satisfied we headed back to Dahab for some lunch and I was pretty keen to see if I could do an Inro Dive through the hotel. I was lucky and a dive master took we out pretty much within the hour of me asking. I had never dived before so this was going to be an interesting experience but was I got geared up and into the water I never looked back! We were underwater for 32 minutes, about 9-10 metres and and was fantastic. The coral colours were awesome and the feeling of being underwater was a sureal feeling. Once I completed my dive Krystal and I headed out with the others for some "Happy Hour" drinks by the beach before heading to dinner for some great seafood. For AUD24 we got a massive snapper, 4 prawns, stacks of calamari, bruchetta, bread and dips, and a fruit platter! After scoffing our faces Krystal headed back for bed and I had a couple of night caps with a bloke from the tour before turning in to complete a great day. One completely opposite to the one we had previously.
Wednesday the 31st October
We had been pre warned about this day weeks ago by both the tour leader, the driver, and previous passengers that today is called the day from hell! Reason being was because we were headed to the port to catch the ferry from Egypt to Jordan. We arrived at the port around 10am and there were two choices we had. Either the slow ferry which takes about 4 hours or the fast ferry which takes about 1 1/2 hours.
Thngs looked to be going well early with us booked to go on the fast ferry leaving at 2pm, but then the Egyptians decided that our truck wouldn't fit (even though the driver has driven the truck on this boat before) so we had to wait until 4pm to get the next fast ferry. We boarded around 4:30 and the boat took off about 5:30pm with a ETA of about 7:00pm. We arrived and were then held on the boat for another 2 1/2 hours for some reason (no one would tell us why) we finally got off at 9:30pm and headed towards the duty free shop and onto the truck. By this stage everyone was pretty done so we headed out to the desert where we would be sleeping under the stars for the evening. To cap things off the driver managed to get the truck bogged in the sand and then proceed to drop out his clutch! We tried to bleed it and fix the thing but it was too hot and everyone was pretty well done for one day. We all fell into bed about12:30 knowing that is was going to take some serious digging to get the bastard out. All this to go a distance of 130kms from Egypt to Jordan!!!!
As you might remember a few entries ago I mentioned that I would write the 10 most random things about Egypt (In our eyes) that we though during our travels so here they are.
(And a random photo that we could have got injured taking!)
1. 3/4 of the buildings are only half complete throughout the country. They begin building one, stop, then start another???
2. The bigger the bump on the head of an Egyptian the more devoted they are to Allah. Reason being is due to the number of times they prey increases the number of times they bump their head on the ground.
3. Tourist police are the dodgiest and the dumbest people of all. They are also all issued with rifles and automatics!
4. Rules do not exist on the roads of Egypt and speed limit and non exisistant.
5. Anything can be bought at a Pharmency with or without a prescription.
6. Egypt and Jordan have the worst border crossing in the world. 11 hours to travel 130kms!
7. 4:30am is the first call to prayer. Moaning and singing would wake us up at this time every morning!
8. Only 2 names exist in the male race in Egypt. Mahhamed and Akmal
9. Apparently it isn't rude to stare in Egypt.
10. And my favourite is, you are only classed as gay in Egypt if you receive sex from someone and not give it!
Even though Egypt had alot of strange things going on, it was clearly the best place both of us have ever been too! NOW BRING ON JORDAN!