I Crossed The Sinai Desert
This article is pending translation.
I was lucky enough to be an Assistant Leader on Project New Horizons and venture into the
We were guided and looked after by in my opinion, the best hosts in the world, the Bedouin tribes. They are the nicest people I have ever met, they are so caring and willing to do pretty much everything for you. They guided us through the desert, helped find us shade, carried our supplies on their 48 camels, cooked us breakfast, dinner and evening meals and became our family for the next three weeks.
The first week was spent at the Nawamis Centre. Whilst here we acclimatised, had to get used to the food, the heat and the culture. We spent three days on training walks and the other days were spent at camel school, learning about the culture and Arabic, having talks from our doctors about staying healthy in those climates, practising emergency situations, and stargazing. In our free time, we would play football with the Bedouin children, run around like idiots with them and I taught them some origami, which they loved!
The next two weeks were spent trekking from west to east of the
3:45am - Wake up.
4:15am - Bedouin sweet tea and a fig bar.
4:30am - Walk until we find shade.
7:30am - 9.00am - Find shade and help unload camels, then sleep.
10:30am - Have breakfast consisting of selection of processed cheese and feta cheese with freshly mad Bedouin bread, fig or apricot jam, honey and a concoction of beans, spices and some sort of sauce, and of course sweet tea. Then sleep/rest time.
2:00pm - Lunch usually rice and lentils or pasta with vegetables and if we were lucky a bit of tuna, Bedouin bread and yes, you guessed it! More tea. More sleep/rest time.
4:30pm - Start walking again.
7:30pm - Set up camp.
9:30pm - Evening meal, which was either soup or the same as lunch. A different tea called Karkadé, it tastes like hot Ribena! Sleep.
Here I have written a collection of exciting, fun and truly amazing tales from my three week adventure across the desert:
My first "shower" out of two in the desert was breathtaking. When I say shower I mean two bottles of well water with stab holes at the top to simulate the feeling of a shower. Anyway, my first was at night, behind a wall and the sky was absolutely stunning, covered in stars, planets and hundreds of shooting stars!
I had my second and last shower at the half way point. I was behind a bush, completely starkers with camels surrounding me regurgitating their food, and the beautiful desert scenery had me in awe! Two magical showers, I will never forget!
I will always remember the nights we spent with our Bedouin. Aburadhi was a very important Bedouin judge and he couldn't speak English but he made us chuckle so much with his sheesha pipe, scaring people and just his lovely nature. Hussan spoke very good English and taught us all sorts of games and always had us in stitches. During the last week of the trek, we had different Bedouin join us who were genetically deaf. They taught us sign language and were the most cheery and wicked people ever! One of them even argued with Aburadhi to buy me for four camels! We were all crying with laughter most nights and a few of us cried when we had to leave them, they were like our family.
Two young people in our group experienced a desert birthday! They got lucky with a bag of sweets and a candle in a fig bar with everyone singing to them and then myself singing the song in Welsh!
Each day we were reminded of potential dangers. On the first day Miz nearly stood on a scorpion that was viciously trying to nip her! A few days into the trek, someone put their bag on top of a Sidewinder snake, which was caught by the Bedouin, who informed us that "it not for girls" - meaning that they cook it, and eat it to use as Viagra. None of the young explorers are actually aware of this but whilst we set up shade at this one place that was like an alcove sort of open top cave, we saw a large snake slither into it just as everyone put their mattresses down. The leaders and the Bedouin searched for it and forced it out before anyone could notice! We saw a large lizard being killed by a scorpion, which was scary.
One day, we had to wait for our camels to arrive and got quite bored so we decided to have a sleeping bag race across the desert plain, which was absolutely hilarious!
On the last day we went to Ras Mohammed to snorkel. It was breathtaking, amazing, awesome, fantastic, beautiful, everything good! The best part was definitely when I saw Finding Nemo starring up at me from the coral!
I could go on forever telling you stories about my time in the desert but I will finish with one of my exciting (yet worrying) tales. As we reached the borders of Sharm El Sheik on our way to
Photo: fuel on fire