When it came time for us to leave Jerusalem, our money was running low and we needed to get to Egypt as soon as possible. This would not be as easy as we imagined for it was a Saturday, the day of the Jewish Sabath. This creates a few problems for two people hoping to get from point A to B on the holy Jewish day. The normal government buses were not running and we were forced to detour to Tel Aviv in order to get the first bus down to the border town of Eilat. We luckily arrived at the shared taxi’s to Tel Aviv at the right moment just as two young Norweigns were negotiating a fare so we joined them. It took almost the entire day of waiting around and transport hopping to get to Eilat but around 10 at night we were able to cross the border.
Entering Egypt would also prove to be another hassle for we realized we did not have the proper visa to leave the Sinai peninsula having an outbound flight from Cairo. Of course in places like Egypt, nothing is impossible and after shelling out a little more money and taking a 2 hour taxi we were finally resting in our beachside hotel in Dahab.
Dahab was going to be a period of relaxing for in the past 2 months we had covered a lot of ground and seen some amazing things but were looking to slow things down once last time before returning home. Dahab is similar to a lot of backpacker beach towns with oodles of restaurants and vendors selling tourist trinkets. Dahab is probably best known for it’s diving but we decided to stay on the land due to our dwindling funds.
A popular activity on the Sinai Peninsula is to bundle up in your warmest clothes and haul yourself up to the top of Mt. Sinai for sunrise. We have learned over the past year traveling that it is ok for one of us to do something the other doesn’t want to, so while Lianna slept in listening to the tropical breeze and soft ocean waves Nick was grunting and trekking up a freezing cold piece of rock.
It took 3 hours of steep walking to reach the top of the mountain where I laid, bundled up in camel scented blankets for the sun to show. I dozed in and out of consciousness before someone shook me awake so I wouldn’t miss the beautiful orange glow of the rising sun over the rock-strewn landscape. As soon as the sun was full on the horizon, every other tourist seemed to scamper back down immediately while I stayed for some welcome solitude on this famous mountain.
Before boarding the bus back to the guesthouse, I visited St. Katherine Monastery which houses the apparent “burning bush” which according to the book of exodus, spoke to Moses and told him to lead the Isrealites out of Egypt. The monastery was packed with Russian Orthodox tourists and a short look around was all I needed before departing back to Dahab.