One of the worst things about Egypt is getting around Egypt. The areas of Sharm El Sheik and Dahab are two very different vacation areas on the Red Sea and we wanted to see both as well as climb Mt Sinai. Doing our research we knew that the US State Dept does not recommend traveling any where else on the peninsula for political reasons but we figured since we were doing the tourist spots it would be ok. We had planned to fly to Sharm from Cairo but our travel guy put us on a night bus. When we found out, we weren’t too thrilled but went along with his plan. It turned out to be 10 hours of hell. All vehicles traveling this area are subject to mandatory stops every 100 km. The trip was 500 km so we were stopped 5 times by military and removed from the bus to have our luggage removed from under the bus and searched on the side of the highway in the middle of the freezing night. At some points we would be held up for over 30 minutes and no one would explain what was happening to us. Needless to say when we arrived I called our travel guy and went off. We made arrangements to fly back to Cairo at the end of the week to avoid more military harassment. Since the incident I have asked many people what is going on and why so much security and no one can give me any real explanation.
We arrived at our resort, showered, ate and headed out for a massage. One hot tub slip later and all our plans changed and were hanging in the air again. We were forced to cancel our diving trip to the famous Blue Hole because of my injury and limited our exploring of Sharm El Sheik to an afternoon walk into town for medical supplies. We spent the next day relaxing, then got a private driver to take us to Dahab. Sharm El Sheik is a fancy modern resort town built for Egyptian families and Eastern European tourists. Lots of Russians and Croatians there. Dahab is the older backpacker diving town. It was much more our speed. We decided we were still going to attempt to climb Mt Sanai so after a short nap we got a driver to take us to the mountain where we met a Bedouin guide and began our 7.5km hike to the 2,285 meter peak at midnight. The hike itself was steep and rated as moderate in difficulty but what made it tough was the temp. It got down to 27f. Our guide was great, stopping often to tell us stories. Along the route up there are several huts to warm up in and drink tea so it wasn’t too bad. We summited around 3:30am with 2 hours to wait until the sun came up so we had some tea then rented blankets and a mattress. Since we beat most people up the mountain we were able to claim a prime spot and set up camp. Alyssa and I cuddled under our blankets on a soft mat and kept warm until the first tour group arrived and woke us. The sunrise was absolutely stunning from our little perch so we stayed for another hour listening to more religious stories from our guide about all 3 religions. This also gave the tour groups time to go down the mountain making our trip down so peaceful and relaxing. Alyssa and I were the last 2 people off the mountain. Unfortunately we only got to see St. Catherines Monastery from the outside since it’s currently closed to tourists. When we got back to town with slept until dinner then went out to eat with a friend we met on the hike. A perfect travel day and another bucket list item crossed off the list. I highly recommend this hike but maybe a little closer to summer. We were subject to security stops in between towns and even multiple stops on the road to and from the mountain where they wanted to see our passports. Flying back to Cairo tomorrow to wrap up our Egyptian adventure!