Woohoo… I got to climb- Dahab
Since I’ve been here, I’ve been missing climbing much more than I expected. I left my climbing gear in the states because the closest place to climb is the Sinai (a 10 hour bus ride)… so I figured that I wouldn’t have the time or the resources to go on a regular basis. After a few months without climbing… I started to get the itch. So after connecting with an American climber living in Cairo, I determined to go. I only requested my rock shoes and harness, but my wonderful girlfriend Sarah surprised me and sent all of my gear (rope, quickdraws, etc). As soon as I received the package I made plans to meet my new friend in Dahab.
I left after class on Wednesday night (9:00pm) and took a “superjet” bus to Sharm el Sheik. I snagged a chair in the very back of the bus and was able to sprawl out along the 5 chairs that lined the wall. I slept nearly the entire bus ride to Sharm. Once in Sharm I took another bus that left at 9:00am to Dahab which was only an hour and a half away. After getting to Dahab, meeting Kevin (Cairo friend) and getting some food for our camp sight, we headed to Wadi al-Qunai and started climbing. It was an awesome feeling to be climbing again… and in Egypt no less. The rock there is a mix between granite and basalt. The 100 ft cliffs rising out of the desert floor and the sporadic oasis scattered throughout the canyon make a very peaceful environment compared to the bustling city of Cairo and Alexandria. After a days worth of climbing we retired to our camp.
Camping that night turned out to be ruthless for me. Right after dinner I started feeling terrible. I had had a head-ache the entire day but I though it was just because I slept on my neck wrong or something. The headache intensified after dinner and I began to feel incredibly nauseous. I crawled into my sleeping bag early and tried to go to sleep. This was difficult because about the time I would doze off a fly would start buzzing around my face (we didn’t have a tent). I also began to feel so nauseous that moving an inch made me feel awful. After lying there for a couple of hours not wanting to budge I finally dozed off to sleep. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night drenched with sweet. After sitting up in order to get some fresh air… my dinner was projected onto the desert rocks beneath me. Upon the echoing sound of my regurgitating moans through the canyon, Kevin was frightened awake. I could hear the fright in his voice as he asked what was going on. After finally catching my breath I informed him I was “just” throwing up. Comforted, he went back to sleep. :/ I later found out that he initially was worried that I was being attacked by a Bedouin… haha.
The next morning I woke up and was feeling much better but not well enough to climb. So I belayed Kevin on a couple of routes and then we went back to the hostel and rested for the day. By the evening I was feeling good and excited for another day of climbing. The next morning we went back out to the wadi and enjoyed another awesome day of climbing. At sunset we went back to the hostel to get some food and then I took a taxi to Sharm el Sheik to begin my travel home. At 9:00 pm I got on the bus in Sharm and headed back to Alexandria. I slept like a baby on the bus. I was awake for no more than an hour of the ride. When I woke up at ten minutes till 7:00 am, the bus was pulling into Alexandria. I went home, showered, got some breakfast and then went to class (starting at 9:00 pm).
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my time in Dahab. The first reason is that the camera I was using (my mom’s) got fried when I took it on my canoe excursion in the Red Sea. The second is there was not time to get pictures because I was either belaying or climbing. Oh well, Sarah and I are planning on going back when she comes to visit so I’m sure we’ll get some pictures then.