My personal travel theme seems to currently be Egypt, and the highest mountain I have climbed (in the middle of the night led by a local Bedouin who we named ‘mountain goat boy’) was Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula. We left our hotel at midnight and drove for about an hour to the foot of the mountain where we were met by our guide, who proceeded to lead us up the mountain in the dark.
I love climbing, but I also suffer from vertigo, so in fact climbing in the dark is excellent for people like me, as you can’t see the deep precipices to one side as we climb and therefore our brains don’t attempt to take over and make us jump!
I hadn’t prepared for this climb. In fact I hadn’t prepared for this trip which is very unlike me. The reason being is that it was our honeymoon, directly following our wedding, so I spent all my time preparing for the wedding and completely forgot to think about the honeymoon past booking it! It never occurred to me to bring even trainers to walk up the hill in, and I had no warm clothes whatsoever! At 2,285 m (7,497 ft) in the middle of the night, it was going to be cold at the top.
Luckily some people in our tour weren’t going to attempt the climb, so I was able to borrow a rucksack, some socks and a wind-proof jacket. I climbed Mount Sinai in Crocs and Socks!! If Moses hadn’t been a sandals and socks man himself, he probably would have struck me down from on high!
We climbed almost to the summit, and then curled up for a quick snooze before sunrise in some Bedouin huts. The blankets they provided were extremely welcome!
Shortly before sunrise we were woken with some strong sweet black coffee, and we climbed the last few hundred steps to await the appearance of the sun. In the pitch blackness we found a perch and waited with lots of other people hidden in the dark.
Luckily for us, the sun rose.
The sky became a slight pink colour and suddenly we were able to get a feeling for how high we had climbed. The sunrise was really beautiful, and I filled my camera’s memory card trying to capture it, but I could not capture the transformation from being frozen stiff wrapped in lots of blankets and all the clothes I had brought to Egypt, to becoming warm within minutes of the sun coming above the horizon.
Tired and happy we went down the mountain to visit the Monastery of St Catherine which is famous for being the site of the story of Moses and the Burning bush. The bush is still there, with a strategically placed fire hydrant just in case of the appearance of Moses II
Some more photos from the climb (and descent!) Click on any to see them larger
To find out more about this weeks Travel Theme, hop over to ‘Where’s My Backpack?‘
This week’s Travel Theme is Mountains
Wonderful post. I enjoyed every step of the way! Now I have found a new way to climb mountains without getting tired…. let you do it! 😉
It was completely exhausting! Definitely my toughest climb ever, hindered greatly by my utter lack of preparation or suitable clothing!
Love the sunrise pictures, Barbara. Must have felt like a blessing.
It was really incredible. And to go from being so cold in the dark, to being deliciously warm within a few minutes was really wonderful!
Omg, no honeymoon plans, climbing in the dark, vertigo, no warm clothes. You’re a brave soul, Barbara. Thanks for sharing the photos, I enjoyed the trip.
blessings ~ maxi
Lol, we were on a trip with a small group, taking in lots of places on the Nile and then a few days of sun sea and snorkelling in Dahab. The trip to St Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai was an option on the itinerary, and I had seen it, and had no doubt we would go on the trip, but I just hadn’t taken it in that we would be climbing at night and so didn’t bring anything suitable for climbing or cold!
Saying that I also forgot to bring any underwear, so I really wasn’t thinking about the honeymoon, just that it was happening after the wedding! I did pack plenty of bikinis though, so just wore those until we found an underwear shop!