In the realm of the Sinai peninsular, The mountains that hold the Great Ancient Egyptian Civilization intact, 3 young pharaohs embark on a very small adventure with really BIG REWARDS!!
———– The Tale of Two Mountains ———
The time is 8.00 am, the place is “Shiek Mousa Bedouin Camp” …
We wake up and get ready for our first hiking trip up Mount Abbas Basha, we go out of our room to this AWESOME VIEW!!
We packed our supplies and went out to meet Shiek Mousa in the hall outside, he was accompanied by the Bedouin Guide who will take us through our trip.
1) Abo Amr
Meet Abo Amr, our Bedouin guide for our hiking trip to the top of Mount Abbas Basha ….
This great fella was one of the highlights of our trip, since the whole trip was basically 16 km hike and 10 hours in total, we had plenty of time to talk with him about pretty much EVERYTHING….
We were amazed and in the same time “embarrassed” by the ginormous amount of general information that this guy hold on to in his super brain …. it’ll be selling him short if i said that he knew A LOT !! coz he knew more than “A LOT” … he knew about everything … Southeast Asian history (Cambodian Khmer rouge, Vietnamese war, Malaysian politics, Japanese emperors … etc), he also told us that he had a hobby of memorizing the names of the presidents of every single country in the world, and told us how his dad used to be able to draw the detailed map of ANY country in the sand within minutes, he was fluent in both English and Arabic (spoken and written), among other amazing insights and information …
When we asked him how did he come to collect all those information, he replied with such a simple “DUH” answer … he said “I like to read …”
This awesome guy was a great inspiration for all of us to grab a book every now and then and read something useful …
2) The road to Mount Abbas Basha
We started walking from the camp, out to the road … and right into the mountains area, there was no jeep waiting for us, no camels … nothing … just plain ol’ walking right into the mountains area.
We started hiking pretty quickly and steadily, and the higher we got, the better the view of the city was ….
And it wasn’t only the view of the city, but also our whole trip, we were surrounded by amazing scenery that had us stopping every now and then to enjoy them ….. and well … to take pics also 😛
On our way, we stopped by a small well where we found some “mountain water“, our guide assured us that it’s all safe and “tested”, so we had few sips …. and damn … i won’t be exaggerating if i said that it was some of the best water I’ve ever drank in my life … all cold, refreshing and taste kind of “mineral-ly” … so we ended up throwing away the water we bought and refilling our bottles from the well!!
We continued our trip till we reached just below the peak of Mount Abbas Basha, our guide told us that he’ll wait right there for us, while we make our way up and enjoy the peak for as long as we want … so we went on hiking to the top ..
3) Let it SNOWWW!!
We hiked to the top of the mountain and along our way we came through THIS!!
now let me just say that the 3 of us never experienced snow EVER, so you’ll understand if we got a bit “Excited about it” 😀
After playing with the snow for a good while, we headed to the highest point of the mountain, which had some bases for a palace that was meant for “Abbas Basha” -hence the name of the Mount- which was never completed due to the death of the Basha.
After staying at the peak for a while, we went back down to meet up with our guide, then we hiked our way back to the camp.
This trip had a total of 15 KM of hiking/walking in a duration of 10 hours.
End of Tale of 1st mountain
4) The Holy Mountain
For our next trip, we chose to climb Mount Sinai aka “Gabal Musa” aka “طور سينين”.
This mountain was featured in all the heavenly books (Torah, Bible, and Holy Quran), it’s believed to be the place where prophet Moses received the Ten commandments.
Needless to say, this amount of holiness and history has compelled us to choose this mountain for our next hiking trip, so we confirmed with Shiek Mousa that we want to go there and also witness the sunset at the peak, so we arranged to start moving at 1pm.
5) The road to the mountain
Our guide met up with us at the camp at the agreed time and we started moving, like the other mountain, we walked from the camp right into the nearby mountains … the road was LONG !!
and since we were hiking in the afternoon, the sun was pretty strong, so i highly recommend you get lots of water with you, as the price of water bottles in the cafeterias in the mountain are TRIPLE the price!!
After walking for a very long distance, we started climbing dozens of HUGE staircases, which really killed our stamina and was extremely tiring.
We pulled through and pushed ourselves to the top where we witnessed one of the most beautiful views in one of the most holy places.
Right There at this spot, prophet Moses received the Ten Commandments whice were the corner stone of Judaism, at that same area there was a church (in the picture above), and beside it there was a mosque, where we rested for a while before watching the sunset.
This combination of heavenly religions in 1 spot had a great effect on all of us and we truly enjoyed the place and it was definitely worth the climb!!
6) The way back
After the sunset, we headed back from a different road, a road that will take us past the infamous St.Catherine secluded monastery, the road back took at least 1 hour of going down the mountain “Staircases” in complete darkness.
right outside the monastery there was one opened souvenirs shop, the seller was extremely nice, he sold us 4 post cards for 1LE, his prices for all his other merchandise was really cheap as well.
Mr Sameh (the seller in this small shop) told us the story of the “Burning Bush“, the tree that god set on fire in front of prophet Moses, yet it was NOT consumed by flames, it resulted in the rocks there having engravings that looks like trees, and if you break those rocks in pieces, you’ll find that those engraving are also on the inside, he told us that this phenomenon can only be caused because of a great heat or great light.
Mr sameh was nice enough to ask each of us to take one of the rocks FOR FREE!! 😀
After that we headed back to the camp and called it a night …
This tour had a total of 20 KM of Hiking/Walking and around 6-7 hours in duration.
Here ends our story, the tale of 2 mountains, our very first backpacking trip in our own beautiful country Egypt.
Our hopes are UP, we’re craving for MORE, and we’re trying our best to encourage people to take this step and enjoy their own home country …..
If you liked our photos and wanna see more, we’ve uploaded some of our best photos to our Flickr account right HERE!!
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Thank you for taking the time and reading my posts, i really appreciate your interest, it’s basically what keeps me going … so keep it coming 😀
Till our next trip ……
Basel ….. OUT
Disclaimer: (All our pictures were taken by our phones, no DSLR, no professional photographers, just us with our phones, this doesn’t say that we are amazing -one of a kind- photographers, it just says that the scenery we’ve seen were THIS BEAUTIFUL that you can’t possibly snap a bad pic …. so by all means … pack your bags and GO SEE THEM with your own eyes!! you won’t regret it …)