464 Route 10. PENINSULA OF SINAI. Plan of Excursion.
To the above directions may, lastly, be added a few hints for which
we are indebted to a traveller who is well acquainted with the Arabic
language, and is accustomed to associate with the Beduins: — Take
the railway from Cairo to Suez. Dispense with tents and beds; but
take at least a couple of warm rugs to fold over the saddle, and to
be used at night. Hire a boat at Suez, and procure an introduction to
Shekh Hennen at Tur, and to the Monastery of Sinai. Pack preserved
meats and a few cooking utensils in a couple of baskets. No interpreter
need be taken if the traveller speaks a little Arabic. Sleep at Tur in Hen-
nen's house, and hire a camel from him with a Beduin attendant on foot
(30 fr. to SuezJ. Start very early and traverse the desert to Wadi es-
Sleh (see p. 506), reaching the Sinai Monastery next evening. Thence
travel slowly to Wadi Ba'ba.'. Lastly, return to Suez by forced marches.
taking about two days and a night. The whole journey may thus be
accomplished in eight days, without reckoning the stay at the monastery,
and perhaps at Firan; and as a sheltered resting-place may always be
found, among the mountains, the shelter of a tent will never be missed,
excepting perhaps on the last day of the expedition.
Distances and Disposition of Time. There are of course several
land-routes to the Monastery of Sinai, but we need only describe the
most interesting of them, and those which are generally taken by tra¬
vellers. As a standard of distance we adopt the time usually occupied
by the camels in performing the journey. Their average rate of travelling
is about 2>/2M. per hour.
When a journey in the East is to last for several days, it will be
found impossible to induce the boatmen on the Nile, or the 'Children
of the Desert', to start early in the morning, as they invariably seem to
think that a late hour in the afternoon is the most suitable time, so that
a very short distance only is performed on the first day. So on the
tour to Sinai the party seldom gets farther than 'Ain Musa (see below)
on the first day, but on the second and following days more satisfactory
progress is made. Patience is therefore indispensable at starting. The
journey is usually made without any prolonged halt, except at the mines
of Wadi Maghara in the Wadi Mokatteb, in which we spend 3-4 hrs.,
riding at a slower pace; at the Jebel Serbal, if it is to be ascended, for
one day; and at Sarbut el-Khadem, for V2-I day. Mount Sinai, being the
great object of the journey, requires a stay of 2-3 days.
Routes to Mount Sinai.
Route I. By Land via Suez, Wadi Maghara, and Wadi Firan.
1st Day. From Suez to 'Ain Musa (p. 406), 2'/2 hrs.
A longer journey cannot well be accomplished on the first day, but
the camels and attendants may be sent on thither, while the traveller
may follow alone in the evening or early on the following morning,
by boat, and there mount his camel for the first time.
2nd Day. From 'Ain Musa to the beginning of the Wadi Werdan
(p. 474), 8 hrs.
From 'Ain Musa to the beginning of the great plain 3 hrs.; thence
to the beginning of the Wadi Werdan 5 hrs.
3rd Day. From the beginning of the Wadi Werdan to Wadi Gha-
randel (p. 476), 73/4 hrs.
From Wadi Werdan to Wadi 'Amara (p. 475). 33|4 hrs.
From Wadi 'Amara to Wadi Hawara (p. 475), 2 hrs.
From Wadi Hawara to Wadi Gharandel, 2 hrs.
4th Day. From Wadi Gharandel to Ras Abu Zenimeh (p. 478),
From Wadi Gharandel to Wadi el-Homr (where Route ii. diverges,
see p. 513J bl/i hrs.
Thence to Ras Abu Zenimeh (p. 478J, 3'/4 hrs.