510 Route 10. WADI LEBWEH. From Sinai
called the Mak'ad Nebi Musa, or seat of the prophet Moses, which
he is said to have occupied while tending the sheep of his father-
in-law Jethro (p. 492).
At this point begins the lower part of the Esh-Shekh valley.
The character of the region becomes less mountainous, and the
route enters an undulating district. In less than an hour we reach
a luxuriant growth of tarfa shrubs, which extends for a distance of
about l*/-2 M. (comp. p. 489). Beyond these shrubs, on the left,
opens the Wddi Kasab, which leads to the S. to the Nakb el-Hawi
(p. 491), and contains a number of palm-trees. Near the (l]/4 hr.)
Wddi Magherdt, which lies to the right, is the valley of Esh-Shekh,
which, according to Capt. Palmer's measurements, lies 3566 ft. above
the sea-level. The imposing mass of Mt. Serbal now becomes
visible. Near the (1 hr.) Wddi et- Tarr (right) are a few inscriptions
(p. 483). The next valley on the right is the (35 min.) Wddi Sollf;
and opposite to it opens the broad Wddi Sahab, through which the
the Nakb el-Hawi (p. 491) may be reached in 5 hrs. At this point
(2854 ft.) our route quits the Wadi Esh-Shekh, which leads to the
(23/4 hrs.) defile of El-Buweb (p. 490) farther S. We ascend
rapidly to the N.W. in the western part of the Wddi Sollf, which
soon contracts to a gorge. Several valleys are now crossed, parti¬
cularly the Wddi el-Akhdar and the Wddi el-'lshsh, as well as the
low ranges of hills which separate them; and in l3/4 hr. we reach
the long Wadi Berah, lying at the base of the Jebel of the same
name. We now ascend this valley, obtaining at first a fine retrospect
of the Sinai group, the Jebel Musa, and the Katherin, and reach the
top of the pass at the base of the pyramidal hill of Zibb el-Baher
Abu Bahariyeh (3894 ft.). We next enter the broad Wadi Lebweh,
through which the route, now monotonous and nearly straight,
descends in less than 2 hrs. to the foot of the Nakb Wddi Barak.
The Wadi Lebweh, which makes a bend here and descends to the
Wadi Firan, now takes the name of Wadi el-'Akir. Our route
ascends in lfa hr. to the top of the Nakb Wadi Barak Pass, beyond
which begins the Wadi Barak, a wild, stone-besprinkled valley,
sometimes contracting to a gorge, and overgrown with remarkably
fine old seyal trees. Near the head of the valley are several 'Nawamis'
(stonehuts; see p. 490), Sinaitic inscriptions, and large fragments
of a rude granite wall. The latter is said to have been erected by the
Tawara Beduins, in order to arrest the progress of troops sent into
the wilderness by Mohammed'Ali, to punish them for pillaging
a caravan ; but it appears to be of earlier date. It extends along
both slopes of the valley, but there is a wide opening where the
route passes through it.
On the right opens the Wddi Mesakkar, and on the left, lower
down, the Wddi Tayyibeh, at the base of the lofty Dabbus 'Ildk.
In 2y4 hrs. more the Wadi Barak reaches the Wddi Slk, which
after 3/4 hr. turns sharply to the left, leading to the Wadi Sidr