July 13, 2002 – Mont Moses (St Katherine)




Today wake up at 7:15. We just have the time to pay for the rooms and the snorkeling gear. The departure was set at 8am but the driver is already here and he wants to go as soon as possible. I just run to the supermarket to buy a lot of water (4 bottles of 1.5L) and some bread & cheese for the lunch and dinner. We are on our way to St Katherine (120 km).


As soon as we pass the checkpoint and we go further in the desert the landscapes are really beautiful.



We arrive at 10am, just in time to visit the monastery at our own pace.


As we thought, there are a lot of people there, many buses and minibuses are staying on the parking lot. We meet Jack & Cathy who come back from the top and from the monastery. They issue a warning: it is really cold at the top. With Jorge, we are the only ones with our bags at the entrance of the monastery, the policeman will not check our bags, too big.


The clock tower of the monastery


The visit of the monastery is quite short as the monastery is not entirely opened for visitors. There are only the square with the burning bush and a part of the church. For those who want it, it is possible to visit a museum inside the monastery (20 EGP).


We just seat in the square behind the monastery under the shade just to relax, have a break before climbing to the top later in the afternoon. We are the only ones with some Muslims and the monks to remain there. All the tourists have deserted the place. That’s good we might be the only one at the top tonight. The monks are all dressed in black with a huge beard. We just have lunch under a very big olive tree waiting for the heat to calm down.


The monastery at the bottom of the valley


At 3:30pm, we start the ascent of the mount Moses. Jorge will try the most difficult way, the 3,000 steps of the repentance carved in the rocks by a single monk. Whereas me, I will chose a more favorable way, the camel path, easier to handle with a bag of 20Kg and a small one of nearly 5Kg. But the camel path is under the sun rays so it is very hot with such an equipment and after stopping twice to drink water and have a break, I am forced to stop at a Bedouin hut at ¼ from the end of the Camel path. It is too difficult with the big bag, I am not used to that normally. Mohammed gently proposes me to let my bag there and I will take it back tomorrow morning. I take a coke and a twix to gain some energy for the end of the path but I succumb to the temptation of taking a camel to end the path!!!. I negotiate a package price for the Twix, the coke, the camel and the bag and I give him 20 EGP. I will only take the essential items to spend the night at the top: warm clothes, food and a bottle of water.


At the end of the camel path, the path joins the one of the repentance steps and we have less than 800 steps until we reach the top. I succeeded at 6:30pm a little before Jorge but with a huge pause on my way. When I explain to Jorge that I take a camel to end the camel path he can’t believe me but when I say that I eat with Bedouin he will not believe it as we have only some cheese and bread for the dinner. But the 3,750 steps were Jorge challenge to himself and he did it.


At the top the view is so great, only the Mount St Katherine at 15Km is higher than Mount Moses but we discover the Sinaï as a fantastic jewel. It is a magical and mythical location as we stand at the same place where Moses received the 10 commandments. We are the only 2 strangers there but we are joined by a group of French for the sunset.




We are appreciating these moments before the sun disappear behind the mountains.



The darkness comes slowly and we go to see the kids to rent some blankets for the night because it becomes colder at 2,285m.


We spend a lot of time just watching to the sky and admiring satellites, shooting stars…


Main expenses of the day :

Trip to the monastery : 30 EGP

Bedouin package (Coke, Twix, bag, camel) : 20 EGP

Blanket at the top : 5 EGP

Water & Food : 9 EGP





Other travels






D1 : Luxembourg – Amsterdam – Cairo

D2 : Cairo  (part 1)   (part 2)

D3 : Cairo

D4 : Cairo

D5 : Aswan

D6 : Aswan - Abu Simbel  (part1)   (part 2)

D7 : Aswan

D8 : Felucca

D9 : Felucca (Kom Ombo)

D10 : Edfu - Luxor

D11 : Luxor  (part 1)   (part 2)

D12 : Luxor

D13 : Dahab

D14 : Dahab

D15 : Mount Moses (St Katherine)

D16 : Nuweiba - Cairo - Alexandria

D17 : Alexandria – Siwa Oasis

D18 : Siwa oasis

D19 : Siwa oasis

D20 : Alexandria

D21 : Alexandria - Cairo

D22 : Cairo

D23 : Cairo – Amsterdam – Luxembourg


Pictures (high resolution)


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Last update : August 2002

Contact : pindavid@hotmail.com