Monday, 5 November 2007

Into the Sinai desert (Day 10)

This was my first true desert experience (I'm not counting the camel ride in Aswan a few days before).

If your read my previous post carefully, you should guess that our first desert stop was at a desert canyon.

The desert canyon we visited is in fact one of many wadis of Sinai desert. A wadi is a dry riverbed that is occasionally (once or twice a year during the rainy season) filled with water.

Some parts of it were so narrow that we literally had to squeeze through. And it was a tight squeeze!

In one of the wider parts of the canyon stands a strange rock formation. Abdullah - our Bedouin guide told us what it was:
a fossilized coral reef - once underwater, today in the middle of the desert.

The guides also took us to one of the larger sand dunes in the area. We even tried jumping from the top of a nearby cliff. It was more then a 5 meter jump into the sand. The landing was surprisingly soft.
Those of us who gathered the courage and tried the jump, enjoyed it pretty much and repeated it a few times before moving on.

We also made a stop at a desert well. Our all-terrain Toyota needed it badly. Still today camels drink from the well. So did our Toyota. I'm not sure whether it was the heat or simply the state of the vehicle, but it needed a water refill every half an hour.

Not far away from the well stood a plant called Apple of Sodom. It had apple-like fruits growing on it. Its fruits may look pretty, after days in the desert perhaps even tasty, but are unfortunately poisonous. The tree was full of locusts. There were at least two kinds of them. I was harassing them until we moved on.

The sun was just above the horizon when we reached a tourist camp in a small beach town of Nuweiba. It seemed like we were the only guests. After settling in we decided to take a swim. It felt so good after a day in the scorching desert heat.

I didn't realize it until then, but we had quite a full day behind us:
sunrise at 2288 meters above sea level, lunch in the desert and swimming in the Red sea at sunset for grand finale.

When was the last time you had a day like that?!


Anonymous,  5 November 2007 at 10:38  

The desert canyon seems like fun.

Anonymous,  6 November 2007 at 00:02  

Is it completely wrong of me to be turned on by that woman in the rock climbing pictures?

Travel-PB 6 November 2007 at 09:28  

I don't know if it's wrong, but it sure isn't strange (for you).

It seems like sex is the only thing on your mind... like all the time.

Anonymous,  8 November 2007 at 12:20  

Great pictures, looks like you had a great day :)

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