A Trip to Sinai - Mohamed Hakem's Photography

Last month I went with Dune Raiders(an Egyptian travel agency that aims for adventurous tourism) on a 36 hour trip to Sinai. it was mainly for climbing mount Mousa (known as Mount Sinai) that resides in Saint Catherine Area. After a 6 hour drive from Cairo we stopped at the heaven on Earth Ras Shitan, a bay that sits between Taba and Nuweiba. The bay is considered as a famous ecolodge estination for those who love relaxation. It really has it all! Sun, water, snorkling, hiking, relaxing and great food!. When the sun sets it becomes a fireworks of shooting stars in the sky. give your eyes the time to see things in the dark and I promise a scenery you will never see in your life. after spending some hours of relaxation and eating for the climb, we took the bus and went to Saint Cathrine.

Saint Catherine is the name for the whole area and a top of the mountain. The mountains of Sinai are not traditional mountains, they look like the waves of sea. Mountains are Kilometers long and can have multiple peaks. after one and half hour drive from Ras Shitan we reached the area that sits 1000m above sea level. This area has culture and history that dates back to the pharaohs. They first built it as part of the road from Egypt to Jerusalem. In this area you can find the famous Saint Catherine Monastery which has tons of religiously important heritage. This area is very important for Muslims, Christians and Jews. Since you are already a kilometer high, the weather is really cold up there if not freezing. You can find around the friendly bedouins selling stuff you’ll need while climbing.

in Saint Catherine area there are two mounts that can be climbed. the first is called Mount Cathrerine, the second is called mount Mousa, foreigners call it mount Sinai and the jews call it Horib and Yes Mount Mousa is the road which Prophit Mousa(peace be upon him) took when he received the ten commandments. We decided to climb mount Mousa and the trip began. It begins overnight at 11:00 PM in the dark. It is not actually a real mountain climbing, it is walking down a path up through the mountain for 8 Kilometers. The path is rocky and extremely rough but its not dangerous. We took 3 hours to finish the main stage then 1 hour to climb what the bedouins call the stairs. Its not easy at all but its doable. During the road you find places to rest and camels to ride. Your first enemy is the gravity as you climb 2422 meters, your second enemy is the Cold! it really was cold. We were all wearing heavy coats but the thing is during the climb your body becomes sweaty, so whenever you stop you instantly feel the cold to your bones!.

reaching the top! after finally reaching the top,we had two hours till sunrise so we took the most uncomfortable nap in the world. Your sweat is freezing inside and you really can’t wear anything more. After waking up extremely tired and cold I packed my equipment and went for the sunrise. Sometimes I couldn’t feel the camera in my hands, I wanted to press the shutter button but I can’t feel my fingers! somehow after managing and warming up you begin to see the magic! a sunrise that you will never forget! Stunning sky colors, stunning rock formations, the place really touches your spirit! every minute the colors change and the scenery changes magically until you see the sun and all your problems are gone! you instantly becomes warm and energetic. We then began our way down, it took around 2-3 hours much much easier than going up and you get to see the magical landscape that you missed at night,also weather becomes perfect. after reaching down again we went inside the Monastery, had lunch and headed back to Cairo. It was an experience that I will never forget!

Mount Mousa

Ras Shitan

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