Monday, October 24, 2005

In the Sinai

so you know that this is not from Herself!!!

We've reached the Red Sea and are in Nuweiba, a small town on the East coast of the Sinai, where the ferries go to Aqaba, Jordan. We had a pain-free escape from Cairo yesterday morning. Got up at 0540 to gather our things and meet our taxi for the 20 minute ride to our bikes, stored with friends Heather & Sabri. We loaded-up and got into the traffic at about 0715, following our faithful taxi driver to the Sinai highway. Traffic was light at this time in Ramadan and we were soon on the desert road leading to the tunnel under the Suez Canal. Cool riding temperature was a surprise.

The canal is heavily guarded and we went through two roadblocks with many police. No delays, however, and we passed under the canal taking about three times as long as the Dease Tunnel. Once up on the other side, looking over my shoulder, I saw a the superstructure and cranes of a large ship floating over the sand dunes, just like in the movies!

The Sinai has a wonderful stark beauty, much like southern Utah. We had a beautiful ride as the well paved road twisted through the desert mountains. Perfect blue sky and bright sunshine, ... and many more police checkpoints, most requiring us to stop and show passports and driving licenses. One has the added feature of a very alert soldier behind a heavy machine gun pointed at us from a rooftop.

We were going to go to St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai, but it's closed in the afternoons, and the "Park Fee" to use the one-way road made the road to Nuweiba more attractive. We've spent the day here on and off the beach, ... and could be easily persuaded to spend more time here as our beach-front hut, sleeping two, is only $10.00 Can each, per day! But, the return journey has started and we have to pay more attention to the calendar. We'll be getting our tickets to the ferry to Aqaba tomorrow. Long line-ups are expected as a ferry from Suez sank after a collision last week and more traffic has been diverted to Nuweiba. I hope the next news report will be from Jordan.

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