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On the road . March 2011 . Egypt

map Sinai Egypt

Bedouin Camp Saint Catherine, Egypt, 08-06-11
Life in Saint Catherine

Saint Catherine to Dahab
(1 cycle day; 134km; 518m)

Serious thinking
Cycle touring is not really on the list of things to do this month and Ali's broken ankle is not the only reason.

Life in Saint Catherine is simple. We get up each day, face beautiful blue skies and contrasting red mountains, eat freshly baked bread from the bakery and give a local cat something to start the day with too. We both wander to the restaurant area - well Ali actually hops there - and we both sit working all day at the computer keys and sipping tea.

As well as keeping a close eye on things happening in the Middle East, we are taking the opportunity to do a bit of website work. has been optimised; is in the making; has been revamped and Marnix de Nijs has a whole new website; Cycling Egypt and Bedouin Experience are both about to be created. And is being completely overhauled...

read on
tip of the month tent door matTip of the month: How much tip should I leave behind?
"Is tipping customary?" This is one of the many cultural questions that pops into a travellers' mind when stepping from one country to the next. While it is commonplace in the US, it is not necessarily the norm in other countries. For example in Mexico and Central America, it is usual to tip the kids bagging your groceries, whereas in Korea and Japan it is considered rude to leave a tip behind in eating and drinking establishments. In fact, you'll have the waitperson running after you to give you your change back.

The best advice would be to do some homework before you leave home. There are a multitude of country info websites out there to peruse for this sort of information. One such site is Worldtravelguide, but cross referencing is always a good idea. Another way of knowing what the custom is, is to watch locals closely when it comes to paying in a restaurant or supermarket. It's not that hard to work out what is going on through body language and gestures.

See money tips for more tips on handling your money while travelling. Country specific tipping customs can be found on our individual country information pages


St. Catherine - Dahab (Egypt)
133 km and 600 m
Riding days: 1
Alti meters: 518 m up
Weather: sun, sun, sun
Best accommodation: Hotel Jowhara in Dahab: cosy, warm and welcoming at very affordable prices.

Special thanks to:
Once again to Salah for being a really helpful guySheik Mousa's Bedouin Camp for giving me the chance to conduct work interviews over their telephone line • Anja for her love of Bedouin creativity and use of her photographs for the website • Mohamed El Hashash and his wife for being special people • Sonya's Mum & Dad for all the organising of her educational and official documents - and all the other countless phone calls and running around they have done • Sherif from for the great conversations Anthony for the laughs, the company visiting the Saint Catherine Monastery and the long ride to the Red Sea Coast • Anja for the beautiful walk through the mountains to Mount Sinai Ecolodge • Tracey and everyone at Hotel Jowhara in Dahab for making our stay so pleasant

06: tyre disintergrated in the freezing temperatures of St. Catherine (Son)

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