There are camels to take us 1/3 up the mountain, but after reaching the camel pick up, most of us decide to hike the entire way up. It's a gradual (if long) slope and we're ready for the challenge. It's not terribly cold and the stars over head are AMAZING!!! Such a clear sky you can see the Milky Way.
As twilight and then full on dawn approaches, the feeling of being on Mt. Everest continues: We are on one of the tallest mountains around and below us smaller peaks start coming into view. I have a small fear of heights and begin to get freaked out at the thought of our trip down the 748 stairs to the easier hiking area...
Here is a portion of the steps down.
The stats: 2.5 hours up, 2.15 hours down. 1200 calories burned up, 600 calories burned on the way down. 3.5 miles up (3.5 miles down) round trip = 7 mile hike. Elevation gain: 2500 ft, Elevation lost (on the way down) 2500 ft. Tylenol needed to soothe my aching knees? 1.5 bottles. ;-)
After a quick breakfast (oh, and my tummy is grumbling and NOT happy), shower and pack we are out the door. Our first stop? The Monastery we just hike by at the START of our journey: St. Catherine's.
Before lunch, we made one more stop. By now, my stomach is NOT happy and all I'm doing is sleeping and moaning on the bus. We can't get to Cairo soon enough.