Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend in Dahab

We just got back from Dahab yesterday, in various states of sunburn. I managed to only get a little lobster-ish on my back. We left Cairo Wednesday night and drove to Gabal Mussa (Moses’s Mountain – Mt. Sinai). That bus ride was the first time I’ve been cold since I’ve been here. Apparently the AC had only one setting – full blast – which made sleeping a little difficult. We got there around 2am and headed up the camel trail. The Bedouins had a bunch of little shacks set-up as rest stops along the way - at which they sold water and such for lots of money. They also followed us most of the way up the mountain trying to get us to ride camels because “is very long way”. The last bit of the hike consisted of 700something steps. At the top we ate breakfast while waiting for the sunrise. The view was incredible! It kind of felt like going on a pilgrimage since we were at a place of such Biblical significance, and because there were so many other people there with us. There was probably about 150 people up there all waiting for the sunrise – we cheered when the sun finally poked out from behind the mountain. We headed back pretty quickly after the sun was up to try to beat the heat, but failed at that. It was ridiculously hot by the time we made it back down. It was around 8am by then, so we waited around – I slept – for about an hour, until the St. Catherine’s Monastery opened. They have a pretty impressive collection of really old Bibles and icons. I was going to buy some souvenirs there until I realized the prices were in Euros, not Egyptian pounds. The monastery also houses the “burning bush” – contrary to Jon’s (one of the MESP interns) claim, it is not still burning. J

After the monastery we piled back onto the bus and drove a few more hours to Dahab. Despite having basically pulled an all-nighter and hiking a mountain that night we went out for lunch (at a restaurant called the Funny Mummy – so good!) and then went swimming. After a shower – which was in salt water, so not very effective – we went to dinner. The restaurants in Dahab are mostly open air places right on the water with a nice view of Saudi Arabia. Dena (the other intern) and Jon (our interns are awesome, btw) told us we couldn’t try swimming to the kingdom unless we happened to have a burkini. The next morning we went to the Blue Hole and went snorkeling. It’s apparently the 2nd best snorkeling location in the world, and for the kid from Alaska it was pretty impressive. The colors of the coral and the fish just blew me away. I also swallowed a ton of salt water. I went to the Funny Mummy again for dinner with a small group of the girls and we wound up staying for 4 hours. We were about ready to leave when a bunch of the other MESPers showed up, so we stayed and ordered dessert instead. We then went back to the hotel and played cards and talked till 2am. I was going to get up early the next morning for one more swim but was too lazy to get up when the alarm went off. After one more amazing meal at Funny Mummy we piled back onto the bus and drove 9 hours back to Cairo. We got Jon to tell us his epic engagement story on the way back which took over 2 hours to tell, and definitely shortened the trip back. It’s such an amazing story – it could seriously be a movie and make lots of money. We got back to Cairo and most of us went for dinner at this great fast food place in Agouza where you can get fool for 1.25LE (around 25 cents). I’m going to have a really hard time buying stuff when I go home because everything is so ridiculously cheap here.

Pretty much, it was the best weekend ever.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Sounds like a great weekend. Sounds like the exchange rate definitely works in your favor, as opposed to Euros...they hurt the pocket book. I love the name "Funny Mummy" - what a great restaurant name. Don't swallow salt makes you sick! lol silly Alaska girl. Pictures yet?? love you!!