Dahab, Sinai, Egypt Trip
We left at midnight on a private bus to Dahab in Sinai, Egypt. It was an 8-9 hour drive and the bus driver apparently was driving pretty dangerously. I knocked out on the bus so I didn’t see any of his driving. We stopped once for a break. My friend and I ended up in some sketchy bathroom stalls (obviously with no toilet paper). The little girls in the bathroom kept looking at us and smiling because they knew we weren’t used to this. We went back to find some tissue in the bus and used that.
We got to our hostel around 9am. We dropped off our bags and went to a restaurant called Same Same, But Different for some breakfast, which was right on the beach. We ended up having that for breakfast for the next couple of days. We’re still not sure what the name of the restaurant means, but it’s certainly unique. The workers at the restaurant let us play whatever type of music we wanted. We went from Whitney Houston (who they thought was called Gloria and made me seem crazy) and Coldplay to Eminem.
After breakfast, we changed and hit the Red Sea. The guy at the hostel allowed us to board the back of his jeep where he had handmade some vertical benches for us to sit. We ended up jeeping to the beach and back the next day as well. The Red Sea was gorgeous with clear and bright blue water. On the other side we could see fish close to us. Some young Beduin girls came up to us and sold us some hand-made bracelets. Their parents then offered me some Beduin tea and food right on the beach.
After getting some sun, we went to the strip and lounge-hopped. We were the center of attention in all these places, which was awkward sometimes. But, I don’t think any of us cared. We went back to our rooms only to wake up early again for breakfast.
We had breakfast at Same Same, But Different again. We figured we’d go to the Red Sea again since the beach was relaxing. We jeeped there once again. After some hours there, we called a guy to do some ATVing. Right around sunset we took our ATV’s out through some mountains in the middle of a desert right near the Red Sea. We saw some beautiful scenery. On the way back my ATV wouldn’t start up again. The guy who was leading us came around to try to start up my ATV. After awhile it started, and then kept apologizing. He told me that I would have to ride behind him and said I can’t go that fast. So he made me ride behind him until I figured it was riding fine. That’s when I told him I think it was okay for me to ride again. We got back with sand all over ourselves, but no time to shower. We grabbed dinner at an awesome local restaurant. Then, we had an hour before we were supposed to meet the guy taking us to Mount Sinai by bus. We were going to climb Mount Sinai the very same night.
I tried to take a nap for that hour until I got some phone calls from the states. One was from my mom who was wondering why I hadn’t called her in some days. I kind of forgot to mention to her that I was going to the Sinai Peninsula, so decided to leave the whole climbing Mount Sinai out of the conversation. Then I wondered if I was getting these phone calls right before this journey for some crazy reason or just a coincidence. What was going to happen to me on this mountain? Yes, I tend to get superstitious at times. I couldn’t nap anymore. My friends started singing outside our doors. So I thought I would just get ready for this nightlong climb to the mountains. The manager at the hostel told us that there was something all his guests said to him when they got back from Mount Sinai, but couldn’t tell us until we got back.
I packed my backpack and we left for the bus at 11pm. It was a two and half hour drive to the site. The drive there was crazier than the drive to Dahab. This bus driver kept making random stops and picking up random people. We thought this mountain climb trip was organized specifically by the hostel we were staying at. Guess not. Once we arrived to the site, we saw a couple of hundred of people waiting to get their bags checked for the climb. I felt less nervous we were doing it in such a large group.
Our tour guide’s name was Muhammad (not unusual). And our team name was Ramses (not unique either). It took us about 3 hours to climb 7,500 feet with just about 5 rest stops (for about 5-7 minutes each) along the way. Right before we got to the top, we had to climb about 700 steps. And these steps weren’t all the same size. Some were unusually huge rock pieces that the monks supposedly built for their daily climbs. That was the most tiring of all. The stars that you could see from where we were were gorgeous. We could see Little Dipper and the North Star pretty clearly. Down below we could see narrow lines of just torchlights following us. Almost everyone had some type of flashlight with them. I wanted to take a picture, but was too tired to take my camera out besides for my water. As we got closer to the top, it was getting cooler. I was going from getting really cold to really hot (from all that climbing).
We got to the top just in time for the sunrise. It was beautiful. The sun was slowly peeking out. We conquered Mount Sinai, now how were we going to get down. We were hungry and exhausted, but we had to get down before it got too hot. It’s interesting the temperature contrasts out on the mountains within a couple off hours. It took less time to get down (about 2 hours). One of our group members got injured. His knee gave out and had to limp all the way down, which sucked. It was a hard climb alright. We got back on the bus around 10am and reached back to our hostel some hours later. We grabbed breakfast at the Same Same, But Different restaurant yet again. After breakfast, we crashed. The manager at the hostel told us that all his guests tell him that the whole Mount Sinai experience was very interesting, but they’d never do it again. I can relate!
We took a 4 hour nap at our hostels before I woke up really hungry. It was 5:30pm before I woke my roommates up and wanted to go to the restaurant we went the night before. We all went back to that restaurant and had delish food. After dinner, we went back to Same Same, But Different for some drinks. We continued our rest back at our rooms for some karaoke. We had the guys sing some Backstreet Boys while the guys made us sing some Eminem. We all sucked! But it was fun. We then got a phone call from a friend from another group also in Dahab inviting us to a beach party at the Hilton. We jeeped there as well. The beach party wasn’t too great. The DJ refused to play anything else but house music. We even pointed out to him that no one was really dancing and all he did was waved his hands in the air and said with an awkward European accent, “Ha ha, I know,” and kept dancing. We called the jeep guy and told him to pick us up.
We finally crashed into bed and ended our trip in Dahab with one final breakfast at Same Same, But Different. Oh, how we’ll miss that place.