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Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

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Washington DC
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Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

From Aqaba to Sinai, what would you recommend between ferry and land? For land, where should I go in Aquaba to start. Does boder from Aqaba to Taba open 24 hours? Any fee?

For St. Katherine's, where should I start from Nuweiba or from Dahab, for better transportation? Is there easy good connection from Nuweiba to St Katherine's? Where can I find a place to stay overnight near the monastery?

It appears organized tour is available to the mountain from Dahab. However, climbing is not hard and many people climb to gether. Therefore, I think it is safe to climb alone. Just too cold.

One comment I read was that nothing there in the mountain. It will save time and $ not to climb it up. Would you agree?

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1. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

Hi rOman

I believe the border is open 24 hours, yes you will need to pay,a it's only a small amount, can't remember exactly, it was part of the cost of the trip. You can get organised tours from Nuweiba and Dahab to St Catherines, There are plenty of places to stay near St. Catherines, there are beds actually availabe at the Monastery, I don't know how you go about booking them or whether they are kept for certain groups of people only.

I think you are wrong about climbing, it's not an easy climb, takes two and a half to three hours, it's not too cold, you dress in layers, it's gets hot while you are walking up, cold at the top, but as soon as the sun rises and you are walking back down, it gets very hot again.

The scenery is absolutely beautiful, the very clear night sky and the colours are amazing at sunrise, the rock formations are stunning - nothing there - I beg to differ, it's well worth the money and the effort.

Regards

Barbara

New York
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2. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

I am just back from Sinai and took the Princess ferry from Aqaba to Nuweiba. Having done so, I would recommend doing it by land. The Pirncess departed one hour late from Aqaba. On arrival, despite immigration stamps being done on board, we were not able to disembark for nearly an hour as Egyptian immigration bumbled about. Finally, after an hour, arab women (with spouses and kids) and western tourists were allowed to disembark. Upon disembarking, you get on a bus and are driven to the customs area, where the luggage that you put on a cart upon boarding is dumped on the asphalt of a parking lot along with hundreds of others boxes, bags and miscellaneous other belongings. You can not avoid this fiasco by carrying everything on board into the seating area -- all items larger than a very small backpack are required to be checked. Although "checked" is a misnomer since you get no paper to provide evidence that you have checked anything. After picking up your bags in the parking lot amidst the other hundreds of bags, you go to the open air customs hall where you push your way to one of the Jurassic-era x-ray machines where all bags are x-rayed. Then, assuming you are not selected for further searches (no tourists seem to be, but many Egyptians were), you can make your way to the dusty parking lot to grab a beat up Egyptian Peugot taxi or wait for a bus. I have been to bad border crossings (a pre-war crossing from Irag to Jordan, for example, that took almost seven hours and reached its climax with an Iraqi officer on a platform taking a large pile of passports, yelling out a name from the one he was reading, and then throwing the passport into a crown of 100+ waiting border crossees), but this one was bad. I would not want to do it in anything approaching summer heat or with a bag that I absolutely could not afford to lose.

pretoria, South...
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3. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

I shall travel from Sharm el Sheik to St Katherine's in the heat of summer. Can anybody advise me on how to get there? I would like to see that icons. I understand you need a permit from the archbishop of Cairo to do this. Can anybody please advise me on how to get this?

Thank you.

Annali Swanepoel.

Nuweiba, Egypt
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4. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

I am posting an answer on the other thread you posted a question on.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

The climb is definitly not easy. The average time to climb is 2 1/2 to 3 hours according to our bedouin guide. We worked hard at it and it took us 2 1/2 hrs going up up. Coming down took 1 1/2 hours without stopping at all. If I remember correctly the total ascent is over 2000 meters and the trail is steep, dusty and covered in many places with loose rocks and sand.

That said I would not miss the experience if I could get there. We opted to do the climb in the afternon after St Catherines closed at 12:00 and after lunch. We witnessed a fantastic site with the sunset from the summit. Some have no interest in making the climb but not me. It was a great experience.

One last tidbit. There are many many opportunitites to hire a camel to climb up along the trail. When we were there last Feb the cost was 100le for the animal no matter where you started using it. There were a few who we saw using them going up but we toughed it out and were glad we did so.

Since we were already in Sharm we made the trip from there. It was 1 1/2 hours by car to St Catherines each way.

Have a great trip,

Chris

Knoxville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

There was no permit required last year to make the trip or to visit St Catherines. We were required to have an armed escort in the car on the drive from Sharm to the monastary and back.

7. Re: Aqaba, St. Katherine, Mt. Siani

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