Monday, November 29, 2004

Adventures in Egypt - Day 10 Sharm el Sheikh/White Canyon

Most of our time in Sharm was unscheduled which was a nice break.  Most of the group opted for snorkeling and horseback riding on the beach but Lee and I decided to go to the White Canyon.   
Our excursion began with a jeep safari into the Sinai Desert en route to the White Canyon.  There were two jeeps in our group and ours was most definitely the party jeep!  Said was our guide, Mohommad was our driver and our fellow travelers were Paul and Bee from the UK and Me and Ro from Belgium. 

The ride through the desert was not for the faint of heart (a common theme in Egypt I discovered) as we were bounced around and became very familiar with each other as we ended up in each other's laps on more than one occasion.  We took one sand dune, landed too hard and ended up stuck in the middle of the Sinai!  It was quite funny to see the wheels moving but not going anywhere.  I tried my best to give it a boost but to no avail!

Moses, the driver from the other Jeep, came to our rescue.

Finally we were dug out of the sand and after a very bumpy ride arrived at the White Canyon!  Now those of you that know me know I am so NOT an outdoorsy mountain climbing kind of girl so imagine my surprise when we arrived at the entrance and were told we'd be climbing down into the canyon!  The brochure so did not lead me to believe we'd be climbing up and down the sides of a canyon...let alone
without any safety gear or a guide without a first aid kit or cell phone!! 

Our three hour hike began by climbing down in to the canyon that just a week before was flooded...again, love it when the guide tells you this after you've descended the side of the canyon!  Said was a great guide and quickly I became very comfortable trusting him as we climb to the top of cliff when we could not see the other side.


Said our canyon guide
The only "modern" convenience
on the excursion.

Bedouin Graves
Oasis at the end of White Canyon
After a brief visit with a bedouin tribe (and it wasn't one of those cheesy "this is what it's like to be a bedouin" kind of things), we headed to Nuwebia on the Red Sea for lunch and then to Dahab for shopping and coffee (gotta love the thick Arab coffee).

View from lunch...the very faint outline
at water's edge is Saudia Arabia

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