Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Coloured Canyon - Day Three

The following day, after climbing Mount Sinai we hiked down into the Coloured Canyon. It's about an hour and a half ride outside of Taba on the road to Cairo. Mahmoud drove us to get our jeep-truck with a new driver, Ahmed. At first he didn't seem to happy, but he cheered up after we got on the road. I thought to myself, somehow this scenario seems a little scary. I took a picture of him from the back. Just in case.
After we turned off the main highway we drove another twenty minutes to the little plaza where groups gathered to go down. After Donna and I paid another pound to pee (sorry) we were on our way with Ibrihim, our new foot guide. The path at this point was fairly smooth, a little windy, and not too steep. And yes, it WAS hot.
The Coloured Canyon is approximately 820 feet down.
Once we reached the bottom it was fairly smooth although sandy. Another couple from Russia joined Ibrihim and us.
But then, the path got a little narrower. Ibrihim is the one with the caftan!
Here's Dale forging the way for us. Donna and I always lagged behind to take pictures.
Ibrihim looking for us. Every now and then he'd say - yalla! Come on. Yesterday at Mount Sinai and today at the Coloured Canyon I began to appreciate the ease in which these guides traverse the terrain and are attuned to nature.
What makes this canyon so spectacular is the color of the different strata. Ibrihim didn't speak much English so we didn't find out much while we were on the tour. Wish I had a special filter for the camera, but beautiful all the same.
Sometimes the path was so narrow that you had to go feet first through the opening. This is Dale, going before us.
Now it's my turn. Ibrihim ready to catch me on the other end.
Ready, set, go...
My breach rebirth in the Sinai Coloured Canyon. Now I remember what it's like to come barreling through the birth canal.
Really, Ibrihim, another?
Once through these tight corridors we came upon a man making hot, sweetened tea. It was good and refreshing, except there were these nasty bees that were about an inch long. The loved the sweet tea and our sweaty bodies.
Back on the road again. The walls of the canyon went up some 16 stories. I felt so little in God's great earth.
Still on the road.
We are finally coming out of the canyon and have to hike up to the top of the rim. That part was the killer. Still hot, still dry, a very, very tired.
Cheery Ahmed was waiting for us. We sat and had some juice and listened to the quiet of the canyon before getting in the jeep for the ride home. I said, "Ahmed, what'd ya do while we were gone? Smoke cigarettes and drink coffee?" He said, "No I don't smoke or drink, I just like women." OK.
These dogs were barkin' man. Couldn't even bat off the fly on my ankle. The guy at the hotel told us it was only about an 800 meter walk. Bull____. I would have worn my hiking boots had I known. Back home we went.

No comments: