Red Sea to Mt Sinai

Trip Start Feb 26, 2006
Trip End Nov 28, 2006

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Monday, June 19, 2006

After spending the past month in the middle east, we were a little burnt out from a case of 'ruin' overload. As luck would have it, our first stop in Egypt was the beach resort town of Dahab.

Dahab is known for its laid back lifestyle and great Red Sea diving. Unfortunately, as we were to discover, Dahab was recently made headlines for other reasons - terrorist bombings that occurred two months earlier in April. One evening at dinner, I stepped out of the restaurant for a few minutes when I ran into an American doctor and started up a conversation. She told me about her volunteer work in Jordon and Egypt and also her experience during the Dahab bombings in April. She described how the night before the bombings she had a vivid dream about the bombings but God had told her she would be OK. She told them to a friend the next day who dismissed them, but that night those events actually happened and in the same manner she had witnessed in her dream. Whoa, freaky! Then she went on to say how she was here and this bomb was there, and there and there... As it turns out, one of the bombings had been at the restaurant we were dining at that evening. Well, everything was obviously rebuilt so you would never know, but it was still a little unsettling. I was thankful though as she said she didn't have any bad dreams the previous night!

Egyptians shopkeepers will try to do anything to get you to buy their goods. In Dahab, I struck up a conversation with a shopkeeper, who thought me skinny and weak, so he challenged me to an arm wrestle. He said if I could beat him I could have a free souvenir from his shop. We started getting ready when a small crowd of his friends showed up and we suddenly had an audience. As it turns out, he underestimated me, and in front of his buddies I convincingly beat him and won Amy a free souvenir magnet of Tutankamun. I felt like I was in grade school or at a carnival, but hey, free magnet!

The next day, we went for our first Red Sea experience of snorkeling the imfamous Blue Hole of Dahab. We were not disappointed as the water was crystal clear and it was like swimming in a fish tank!

Recharged, we were ready to get back to taking in some more sights! It was a good thing we took a break, as our next adventure was to climb Mt. Sinai that night to see the place where Moses is said to have received the 10 commandments. Being in Egypt in June is tough enough, climbing a mountain in the middle of the day would be insane. To get around this, we started our hike up in the middle of the night (2am!) and got to the top, just in time to see the sun rise. Then it was a grueling two hour descent trying to beat the heat before it got really hot.
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