By Nayera El-Zeky
Since the name Destination 31 is a reference to Egypt being the ultimate destination; Egypt’s longitude and latitude are both 31- it was only natural that when they took us on an adventure, they took us to Egypt’s beautiful Wadi Jebal, Sinai.
We met near Baron Palace, Heliopolis on Wednesday at midnight where we got acquainted with the rest of the traveling clique
and set on our way to Saint Kathrine in a minivan.
At around 6 Am, we were finally in heaven. After breakfast and a quick change of clothes at a lodge,we headed to the monumental Saint Kathrine Monastery for some formidable glimpses of history and heritage.
Later, a 10-minute bus ride put us on the beginning of our trekking route and turned back around, leaving us with nothing in sight but majestic mountains, clear-blue skies and ultimate peace of mind.
Our mornings were purely dedicated to hikes and sightseeing. Awe-inspiring mountains were going to be our home for the coming three days and we were thrilled to be part of that.
A resting spot crossed our path around 3 hours into the first hike. We had a light lunch prepared for us by the desert natives, and endlessly sipped on Bedouin tea. Full and rested, we got back on our route and hiked a few more hours. Next morning, after a short stop at “Kharazet Al-Shaq” where we refilled our water bottles from natural mountain pools, we left
our backpacks behind and started on the most daring and exhilarating route; the climb to “Bab Al-Donya” or Gate of The Universe.
After breathing in uncommonly fresh air and taking about a million photographs to make the sure the memories are forever instilled, we halfheartedly made our way back down for lunch, then headed towards our camp
for the night. It got dark before we reached our camp, but the torch-lit hike was an even bigger adrenaline rush!
The next morning after breakfast we headed for a dip at a little hidden haven in the middle of the desert, “El-Galt El Azra’a”; an emerald-colored natural pool surrounded by contrasting greenery and mountains that made us feel like a page in a fairy tale.
Like each day, Destination 31 made sure the last day counts as well. A strongly-spirited hike began early in the morning where the entire group laughed and joked its way to the town of Saint Catherine for lunch.
Our nights consisted of the group huddled around a fire pit, completely relaxed under a blanket of stars. Dinner, tea and great company were the nightly ritual after
which we would slip into our pajamas and sleeping bags and call it a night.
The wildlife challenges:
The most challenging part for us as females was getting used to living the wildlife to its fullest, which meant no toilets. A task
that seemed impossible at first, but later got easier. Something about the fact that you have no other option made us go through with it. Another challenge was going through the day without our beloved morning routine of facial cleansing, showering, hair drying, etc.
As we got into the second day however; we were excited about how there were no social constraints whatsoever. We were in a place with no societal pressure; there were no requirements, even money was of almost no value, and we were reduced to nothing but human beings in their natural habitats.
Being disconnected from the world was tough to adjust to at first, especially that we’re all connected for a living nowadays, but a few days without connectivity got us to enjoy nature and each others’ company with no disruptions.
The different hiking paces of the group weren’t a problem. Destination 31 team
managed to distribute themselves to keep everyone comfortable without compromising safety.
Definitely a must-try experience. Life’s pressures and stresses can sometimes make you lose sight of the simple pleasures in life,
and how effective they can be as a remedy. We left the hustling and bustling city for a quite solace amidst nature where nothing
mattered, and came back renewed and rejuvenated with new found respect for our existence.
Here’s a little re-cap of our adventure!
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