Saturday, May 14, 2011

Climbing a mountain (part 3) -- reaching the top

MT Sinai, the camel station (AKA: base camp 2)

I could see the lights and knew we had reached the camel station. At the cafeteria, I was reunited with my fellow travellers. My husband was already slurping on a hot bowl of instant noodles. It was amazing that they had instant noodles at 6000 feet. There were more people behind me looking for those noodles and my husband informed me that it was the last one. (they sold out on  noodles.- - I guess they hadn't figured that 90 freezing cold asians were going to climb the mountain that day)

I took a few minutes waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. (we had to complete our group before we were allowed to climb the rest of the way up)

They informed us that about 30 of us intended to proceed the rest of the way. The other opted to stay at the camel station. It was another 30 minutes climb to the very top for us to wait for the sunrise.

picture with the camels

camel parking lot

a beduin smoking a pipe at the camel station (photo by my friend)
resting my head....

in 20 minutes, we started climbing. it was about 4:30 am. With my flashlight, I carefully climbed the narrow steps. It was rocky and we had to be careful in stepping, some of the stones were quite loose. There were another group who were climbing also and at time, we had to let the faster climbers pass. some of my male friends complained they had to go pee... and found some rocky outcrop to do their business (good thing it was dark, and I could only HEAR them and not SEE them.... hahaha)

The air was quite thin at this point and we got winded very easily. I tried to regulate my breathing too but eventually had to take some rest stops to catch my breath. You can't really see how much further you have to go to reach the top since it was pitch dark. you just had to prod on... I kept thinking.... how far? are we there yet???

You can't really see much, maybe only two feet in front of you. when you look up, you try to gauge the length you still have to climb by the number of flashlight you still see. Eventually we reach the top. YES. it was soo fulfilling to be able to climb. Maybe something you do once in a lifetime.

me taking pictures
 The sun began to rise and everyone had their cameras ready. The beduins were shouting at everyone to be ready to shoot.

(The time frame was short-- it was sunrise after all and you only get 2 minutes for everything to happen)
i'm on the top of the wooorrrrlllld.....

Sinai at sunrise

me and a friend... trying to balance on a very scary rock

nice picture- I think

grand view of it all.

The whole impact of the climb will hit you when you climb down... (photos by friends)
traffic going down

camel station in the morning

the steps up... I climbed THAT????

the beduin mall... hahaha

looking down at how far we need to walk down

steep!!!! climbing down..
Suffice it to say.... all of us really FELT it the next day... some had to have canes!!!

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