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

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The First Day - Settling In Sinai

It was dark when the cab driver in Jerusalem came to the corner of Ramban to pick me up but the dawn was on its way. He had already collected my friends Donna and Dale and we were off to the Central Bus Station to catch a ride to Eilat, Israel. The bus was moderately crowded, the people rather quiet for 7:00 am, the destination - fun in the sun. Eilat is at the southern most tip of Israel. Go east and you're in Jordan, left Egypt. Eilat is the exit and entry border crossing to Jordan and Egypt. It sits on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba.

What a difference a four hour drive makes in the Negev! Hotter than all get out and our skin began to parch the minute we stepped off of the air conditioned bus. As soon as we arrived we caught a bus to the border crossing. After a hassle with the Israeli visa chick and several hassles with the Egyptian visa guys, tourist police, and cab driver we arrived in Taba. Our home away from home for the next three days was the Sol y Mar Sea Star Resort. Very nice, very nice.

It was too late in the day to head for the 'hills' so we hopped in the pool at the resort and then headed for the beach on the Gulf. View out of room number 5304!
Back view out room 5304.

Grounds keeper?? Security guy??? Pool boy??? I don't know he was just there.
After swimming in the front pool, there were two large and very turquoise blue pools, we ambled down to the hotel beach. It seems that wherever we were there were areas of privacy for the local people. Sometimes the Bedouin had tents strung from trees, or rocks, or bamboo stilts.
Hotel beach.
Off to one side of the beach were these two very sweet children. The boy looked to be about 14 or 15 and the girl, his sister, was maybe 10 or 11. They were having fun on the rocks. As Dale was swimming in the Gulf, Donna and I walked over to the children. They were so happy to see us and show us the all kinds of sea life. Their donkey was hitched to a fence above on the road. They were selling seashell jewelry but when the saw that we had no Egyptian pounds, or any currency on us for that matter, they let it go.

After we oohed and aahed over the starfish, the boy motioned to us to wait. He jumped in the water and pulled this out for us to see. What you see is not what you get.
We REALLY oohed and aahed. Nice grand finale.

Sibling rivalry obviously is universal. She just had to pick up the starfish and show it to us all over again. Of course, we didn't let an ooh or aah go unattended. She earned it.

Donna and Dale at the beach - the 'two Canadians' who make up the 'two Canadians and one American' trio. Dale is a retired Lutheran Pastor is volunteering at Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives and Donna is a retired teacher who volunteers at a school in Beit Sahour, right outside of Bethlehem.
Next Stop - St. Catherines Monastery.

1 comment:

Dina said...

Woohee, some people have all the fun!!