We arrived in Dahab in the evening after a quick flight from Hurghada to Sharm El-Sheikh. We haggled with the taxi guys in the airport parking lot but decided to walk outside the airport area to the main road for a better deal. We found a taxi to take us the 100 km for 500 LE. Kind of steep but it was getting dark and we needed to get settled for the evening. We stayed at the Dyarna Hotel which was right on the beach, walking distance to town and even had a nice pool.
We set our alarm for 6:00 am which came real quick since we had been up most of the night on mosquito watch for the girls who slept soundly. We had a quick breakfast and ran out to our awaiting taxi for the day (1000 LE) taking us to St. Catherine’s Monastery and Mt. Sinai. The drive took two hours including a few police check stops where passports needed to be shown. The road up was recently paved for the first 70 Kms then quickly turned to patchwork paved to gravel to old potholed pavement from years ago. Once there our taxi driver found us a mandatory Bedouin guide for 250 LE to show us around the monastery and take us on the hike.
The monastery tour was a quick 10 minute loop displaying the burning bush, bell tower, various rooms and courtyards. The main church area had various ornaments on display that have been donated over the years. Amazing to think that all this was carried that far into the mountains starting way back in 548AD.
There were two different options for the hike to the summit of mount Sinai. Either the 3750 Steps of Penitence made of uneven boulders or the camel trail which was more gradual, longer and had switchbacks. We chose the camel trail up and the steps down. Just below the top two trails met up, with the final 750 stairs to the top of the mountain. Along the way were little Bedouin huts for coffee, hot chocolate, soup, and snacks. We hiked to the last Bedouin hut, left our packs and took the girls out of their carriers for the final 50 steps to the summit. It was very very windy and a tad cold on the hike. There was even a small hint of snow and ice along the trail. We then zipped back into the Bedouin hut to warm up with some hot chocolate then started our descent back to the monastery. Our taxi driver was waiting for us for the returning 115km drive to Dahab. The total hike time round trip was 5 hours with a 715 metre elevation gain and traveling 9.6 km.
Tyson’s blood work was a bit low in Luxor so we decided to have it done again here as the lab was directly across the street from the hotel. Quick and easy but the cost was 200 LE this time. This results came back in the desired range so we were good for another week or so.
All in all it was a quick two nights in Dahab and even though we staying in a hotel right on the beach with a pool we didn’t have time to use the facilities.