Saturday, October 23, 2010

We were wakened at 2 am by a knock on our door.  2:30 am had 23 of our group of 38  ready to hike or ride camels up Mt. Sinai.   Vicky Mattich,  Norma Stark and I all rode camels.  The experience was wonderful,  up on the camels back, out of the crowd.  We were able to  ponder, pray and  simply be present to the night,  the place,  and the process of getting up the mountain.
We were aided by a brilliant full moon, which illuminated the surrounding peaks.   As camels with riders ascended,  in the foreground as they  gained the top of  a rise, often they would be 'back lit' by the moonlight, looking  a great deal like pictures of the magi on Christmas cards.  It was exhilarating,  wonderful,  a  real 'bucket list' moment in life that I will never, ever forget. 
Walkers were in a more crowded situation.  It was about 15C, and there were thousands on the mountain.  Dodging rocks and  other people was tricky;  avoiding being  rearended by camels  as they ascended was a whole other challenge. 
The final third of the height is scaled upwards over more than 700 steps.   As the steps were crowded, the pace was pretty managable.  Most of our group made it the entire way, with a few choosing to sit below,  in quiet contemplation, surrounded by  camels,  small children and adults hawking their wares, and other pilgrims, speaking in every language you can think of. 
The sunrise was magnificent.  It was a  true mountain top experience.  So far on this trip, every day has had either a 'bucket list' item on it or one of the 7 wonders of the world.    We are exhiliarated,  exhausted pilgrims.
And now, to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! Where's a picture of Baba on a camel?? That's her specialty.

    Glenn & Tim

    PS Hi Mom!