Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 13: St Catherines Monestary & Nuweiba and the Red Sea!!!

Day 13 - St. Catherines Monastery, Nuweiba
Daytime high: 40 C
Unlucky number 13 (for our total days) was a great day for us - HAPPY BIRTHDAY VINCE!
We awoke early for a quick breakfast before heading out to St. Catherine's Monastery at the base of Moses Mountain. Being religously ignorant, I had never heard of the place, but I knew of the significance once the story was told to me. Inside the monastery, there are a few significant religous features, but the most faous one is the burning bush that first spoke to Moses. We took photos of the bush, which looked more like a hedge, and watched in amazement at the number of people who came to pray in front of the bush. There is also a church, which was beautifully ordained. Finally, there was Moses's well, the original well that he drank from during his days on the mountain.

St Catherines Monestary and the Burning Bush (Descendant)
After this quick tour, we were off on another short drive across the Sinai penninsula to Nuweiba located on the Red Sea. Our accomodations at the Nakhil Inn, were fantastic. We lucked out with a small cabana complete with a loft that we just perfect. The place is located within steps of the Red Sea and after a quick laundry session, it was straight into the Sea for some snorkeling in the reef. The reef was amazing - better than all the dive sites that we have visited, this one was actually "alive". It was also great to see that Sam, the Hotel Owner, was quite protective of the reef and didn't let any of us tourists step on it (which kills it), etc. He knows this is his bread and butter and he better protect it. We saw many types of fish we haven't seen before: lion fish, puffer fish, crocodile fish. Sherrill was also amazed with the 2 foot long sea cucumbers and couldn't stop molesting them...until Sam told her they were toxics...oh well, live and learn.
It was quite a contrasting stay compared with the sightseeing at ancient sites we had grown accustomed to. It was a wonderful afternoon of snorkeling and lounging on the beach with the staff bringing us drinks and food.
Nakhil Inn - View from our Cabana of the Red Sea
After an afternoon snooze, it was back out to the common area for a photo slide show of diving shots taken by the proprietor, Samuel, who has had some of his photos published in National Geographic magazine. After a nice dinner, it was off to bed after a hard day. This would be our last night in Egypt before crossing into Jordan.

Our photos are on our water unfortunately the sea photos can't be posted!!!

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