Some remarks from back home seem to suggest that I've lost my sense of direction somewhat. Rest assured, just because this is Sinai I have no intention of wandering around in the desert for 40 years like the Israelites of Biblical times. When we crossed to Sinai from Suez (via the tunnel under the canal), we noticed some obvious differences. Unlike the large Egyptian towns and cities, the Beduin population of Sinai is spread rather thin, mostly in small towns and isolated settlements. We cycled South along the picturesque Gulf of Suez, before proceeding to the mountainous interior of the peninsula. We set up camp at St Katherines, not far from the famous monastry, at an altitude of 1600 m (there was ice on the tent in the mornings). We spent a few days there, taking the opportunity to climb Mt Sinai (Jebel Musa). We were keen to get to a warmer climate again, and proceeded East to Dahab, on the Gulf of Aquaba. We found Dahab to be a rather charming holiday town. Many of the tourists seem to be younger backpacker types, and scuba diving is the main attraction. This is the sort of place where one could get stuck for life, and there is plenty of evidence of people who've abandoned the Rat Race. The place is fairly cheap for a holiday destination, and a decent breakfast at one of the many waterside restaurants will set you back about R12 (SA). Before we grow roots here, we plan to move North towards Nuweiba (apparently much like Dahab) within the next day or 2. From there we need to take the ferry to Jordan by 26 February. Daily distances cycled since Suez have been:- Ras Sudr 113 km; Ras Sharatib 130 km; St Katherine 106 km; Wadi El Ghaib 91 km; and Dahab 45 km.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
After being holed up in Alexandria (photo accross bay) for about a week due to stormy weather, we crossed the Nile Delta to Port Said. The Delta area is very scenic with a combination of lakes, farmlands, large towns, and channels where the locals sail and fish. Although it is winter, the weather has been good, and the breeze was in our favour (just as well, as both Leana and I had colds). Port Said is at the Northern end of the Suez Canal, and the day we spent there included a ferry trip accross the Canal (photo of me, looking back from Port Fuad pier). Since then we've cycled down via Ismailia to the Southern end of the Canal. Today we are relaxing in Suez, and even from our hotel room we can view the ships entering and exiting the Canal mouth. Some of these vessels are really massive, and it is amazing to see them gliding past at close range on such a narrow stretch of water. Tomorrow we, too, plan to exit Africa when we will cross to the Sinai Peninsula. It may seem as though we're living the high life, with all the mention of hotel accommodation. Fact is, there are no formal camp sites around, so in the populated areas we need to check into a room. But, the hotels where we usually stay are cheaper than camping in SA, so one can imagine the condition of some of these places (photo taken in one of the better rooms). Fortunately, in the wilderness areas we normally just find a suitable camp site somewhere along the road (preferable over hotels). Distances cycled since Alexandria have been:- Baltim 139 km; Port Said 136 km; Ismailia 87 km; and Suez 115 km.