I fell in love with hiking ever since my first hike to Mousses Mountain in Saint Catherine on February 2010. And despite my bad knee I kept on hiking during that very same year till I got injured after summiting Abbas Mountain; back then I was told by the doctors not to hike! And I haven’t done so until last February when I went to Saint Catherine and hiked El-Dir (The Monastery) Mountain. I didn’t know how much I have missed hiking and the Saint Catherine area till I was there after more than 4 years of not crossing over to Sinai.
I have deeply missed getting in touch with nature in that way. I have missed the blue skies shining against the rocks of the mountains; the beauty of the mountains’ curves; the traces of melted ice; the hidden water streams. But above all I have missed the serenity I used to feel when I’m up there. I have longed for that feeling when I’m surrounded by nothing but mountains, blue skies, and silence; the silence that can heal your soul and leave you at peace with yourself. And there, up there at the top seeing how infinite the scenery can get I can’t help but think how great nature is and at the same time how insignificant we are to such a majestic being. Doesn’t that make you feel humbled? It does to me and I’m grateful for such a feeling; the feeling that allows me to see myself as it really is without the additives which keep on piling as days go by!
Looking at the Sinai Mountains from afar all you will be able to see is rigid mountains and rock formations but you get amazed when you start peeling the mountains layer after another and the more you go in the more beauty you find. I was astounded by what I have seen during my last hike. I was hiking among bushes of all sorts of herbs smelling their refreshing scents all the way up and down. I passed by some really old trees standing tall between the rocks. And as I was going down, I came by the monastery the mountain was named after. This small holy site in the heart of the mountain next to a water spring with the sweetest and most fresh cool water I have ever tasted. And as I was reaching the end of my descend; I was greeted by the bells of the Saint Catherine Monastery and it never felt more serene.
That was such a special hike to me; maybe because it was after a very long time of not being in Sinai, or maybe because the mountains showed me a different side of its beauty. It was also special because of the group (The Hiking Club) I was hiking with. Those people who tolerated me being slow, who offered me a helping hand, and kept on sending me those shouts of encouragement during our way up. I’m shouting back a big thank you to all of you 🙂
I have to admit I had fears that my knee might fail me or that I will end up hurting it even more but in fact I was wrong. The doctors had me believe that I won’t be able to get back to what I used to do before; they left me frightened thinking and considering every step I’m taking turning me into a couch potato. At the end of the day it was all in my head; it was me who allowed their thoughts to stick in and control me. I’m super glad I was able to let those mistaken thoughts out. Yes, my knee is not getting any better but I’m back on the track of gaining my lost fitness improving my muscles performance to help support my knee. I won’t stop exercising nor hiking because of my injury but I will deal with it in the best way possible. So, here is to the outdoors and I have the mountains to thank for that ❤
The Hiking Club was founded by my dear friend Kareem Samy who loves hiking. He tries to spread the idea of hiking as an outdoor activity among the Egyptian community. I hiked with Kareem for the first time back in 2010 and he actually hated it but know I can only be proud of what he has accomplished. The Hiking Club is also the only Egyptian partner in the Abraham Path Initiative which is an international organization trying to develop the path of the journey of Abraham across the Middle East. For more about the activities of the club please visit https://www.facebook.com/thehikingclubeg and to know more about the Abraham Path Initiative please visit http://abrahampath.org/
More Photos to share with you 🙂