The Red Sea Mountain Trail is letting us peer into Bedouin life, with all its rich history, without actually stepping foot outside our door.
Starting on the 15th of April, we’re setting out on a Bedouin escapade with the Red Sea Mountain Trail. A journey of history, wildlife, and legends awaits - and all of it will happen through our phone screens.
The Red Sea Mountain Trail was launched in 2019 as mainland Egypt’s first long distance hiking trail. It was created by British expat and travel author Ben Hoffler, alongside the local Mazaa bedouin tribe, and Egyptian mountaineer Omar Samra. We were lucky enough to be among the first who traversed its route, and this month, we’ll be doing it again, but this time, it will be digitally.
Via their Instagram account, @redseamountaintrail, they will be taking ‘hikers’ through the trail, sharing pictures, maps, and illustrations of the journey along with everything you need to know about the mountains, and the Maaza tribe who reside along the trail. You might even be treated to the serene sounds of the mountains.
“Great trails tell a story about a place and its people, and as much as this is a virtual hike it will be a story or collection of stories about this part of Egypt. We want to tell Egypt things about itself it didn't know,” Ben Hoffler, cofounder of the Red Sea Mountain Trail, tells us.
The hike takes 10 days to complete on foot, but the virtual hike is extending our experience to 50 days by posting about one day of the journey every five days. Truly immersing viewers in the experience, the tour will teach us how to use desert plants, tell us the legends of the mountains, teach us the Bedouin names of the stars and their wisdom about the night sky.
“We want everybody to see something uplifting amidst the bad news and feel like they learned something new or inspiring. We want to give an escape hatch even if it's just for a few minutes. We think there are lessons all of us from settled, industrialised societies can learn from nomadic cultures who live lightly and sustainably from the land, some of which might be even more relevant and valuable for humanity looking to a collective future when this pandemic is over,” Hoffler said.
If you’re battling the travel bug and are just about ready to burst out of the same four walls that you’ve been staring at for weeks on end now, take this chance to visit Egypt’s mountainous Sinai region, wadi by wadi, peak by peak, and day by day.