Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sinai Peninsula - Swimming With the Fishes

While in Jerusalem I decided to mission it to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, so i jumped on a bus to Eillat, the southernmost point in Israel, which is at the NOrthern most point of the red sea. Eillat is a beach town that has a border with Jordan on one side and a border with Egypt on the other. In Eillat i met a couple of wicked french girls who were also heading to Egypt, so the next day the three of us set off together.

We stayed in this little beach settlement called Nuweiba for a couple of nights, along with an aussie dude that we picked up along the way. Nuweiba is a pristine and quiet little place, its picture postcard stuff that makes you feel lucky to be alive. Where the barren mountainous desert meets the emerald green Red Sea. I slept on the beach, and woke up to the pictured sun rise. Across the sea you can see the sun rise above the mountains of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. It was goosebump rousing stuff. The second photo is my hostel in Nuweiba, doesnt it look like a nice place to be!

For me this place was all about snorkling on the fantastic coral reef (i found memo, thousands of times over), running through the desert listening to Tool as the sun dropped behind the sand mountains, chilling out with a beer and a guitar, good food and good company.

Dahab was the second place we stayed, and was essentially a bigger and more touristy version of Nuweiba. The good thing was that i managed to catch the All Blacks Scotland match in Dahab. During the game i was teaching my french friends about the rules of rugby. I couldnt help but mention that France were going to get thrashed by the All Blacks in the 1/4 final, which i would be attending in Cardiff. As you can imagine, i have since lived to regret that.
I came across this cool as guitar playing taxi driver. I went for a day mission with him to a desert oasis, which was exactly like they are in cartoons, and to this crazy snorkling site, which was an underwater coral reef canyon. Had some great jams with the taxi driver dude at various locations, as we both had our guitars. I have a recording of one particulary interesting arabic part of the session, which i am still figuring out how to post online.

One of the big drawcards on the area for me was Mount Sinai. This is the mountain that moses climbed up, where god told him the ten commandments. I thought it sounded like a interesting idea to climb this mountain, but in the end it far exceeded my expectations, it was quite incredible. The idea is to climb the mountain in time to watch the sun rise.

We got on a night bus to Mount Sinai, arrived at about midnight, and started climbing the mountain, with the help of flashlights and the moon. THe road end is quite high up the mountain so the climb is only about 3 hours. THen we sat at the top and froze our arses off until the sun peeked above the horizon at about 5am. It was the first time that i had been cold in a while. The view was mindblowing. When the sun came up a congregation inside this chapel was singing a hym. This is Choe and Elize (partially), my french travel buddies, and a cool quirky swiss dude we met in dahab.

1 comment:

Mum and Dad said...

Hi Jason

It's Friday night and I'm enjoying your photos and a brandy. I have seen these photos before now but wanted to refresh my memory. I love the last photo of the chapel up My Sinai, caught in the sunlight.
Love Mum