One day without sea but on the Sinai top
This is short report from my one-day expedition to the Sinai interior.
At the night-time (about 4 am) very delayed bus dropped me in some strange place in the middle of nowhere. After 2 or 3 rucksack's and passport's controls (this is the real face of battle against terrorism) I started (with the group of people) to climb to the Mt. Sinai. It was really express walk because we tried to reach the peak before sunrise and we had no more than 1h 30minutes. And normal time of climbing to the top is about 3 or 4 hours. So after - belive me - not easy route (8 km) and more than 700 stairs I reached the summit.
10 minutes later the Sun slowly rised from behind the naked, burnt and terrible beautiful mountaines. How it looked like in the ancient times when Moses received Ten Commandments?
More interesting were the route downhill. I can admire the wonderful sceneries of the deep, dried up valleys, remote peaks and the camels bravely marching along the narrow, mountain paths.
During this trip I also visited monumental St.Catherine's monastery where still grows biblical Burning Bush. Unfortunately - because of the giant tourists' crowds - it was impossible to admire the architecture and atmosphere of this place.
But the impression of the wild Sinai mountains and desert is still in my mind. How people can survive here?
Bargaining is a must in Egyptian shops. Always start with half of what the salesman asks and go up slowly. They will still make a good busness. Be always friendly, and see it as a way of entertainment to make bargaining.
If you like tobuy something special, like a shisha (waterpipe) better ask some locals in your hotel about the best or cheapest prices.
The first time I took diving was at the Red Sea. I was on holiday with my mates, we were hanging out at the beach at Sharks Bay when we saw a group of scuba divers coming out of the water, all geared up and excited.
We Started asking them about diving, and they encouraged us to go for it. So we went to the diving center right next to it, called C-Fun to see what our options were, and how long it would take us to get the license. The people there were very friendly and easygoing and they encouraged us to go for an intro dive to get the feel of it, then decide whether we want to go ahead with it or not.
We decided to sign up for the open water course (that’s the first level) and we were able to complete it during our holiday. With a full fee of around $300, we were able to do our theoretical studies, 5 pool dives, 5 open water dives, and we were ready to go out there and chase fish!
My first dive as a certified open water diver was Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef, the toilets and sinks at the bottom make a good setting to take funny photos underwater (thanks to our instructor who had a digital camera with its underwater housing case).
I must say that I’ve been hooked ever since, and my friends and I plan to visit as often as possible. Especially that it’s very easy to find cheap and clean hotels to stay in, like Delta Sharm on Hadabet Omm el Seed.
While browsing online for further information about different dive sites in the Red Sea for my next trip, I came across www.allaboutsinai.com, a site that’s offering various information about Sinai and the Red Sea, and the various activities that could be done there.
The Diving section is extremely helpful, as it lists the various diving sites that could be visited, with practical information like how to get to the site, the diving experience needed for this dive, and GPS coordinates. There’s also a section offering various diving tips to help divers master their skills.
Definitely worth checking out! I rented equipment from Sharks Bay Diving Center