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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Egypt Mount Sinai to Israel

In 1999 I did a trek in the Sinai desert to help raise funds for Mencap. We walked for about four days guided by a lone Bedouin and of course we slept under the stars. The Desert in my mind is a wonderful and very powerful place to be, many think that there is nothing there and yet when you take the time to sit and just be in the moment you will see that the desert is full of life. We encountered snakes, birds, lizards and people riding on their camel’s going we knew not where but they appeared very relaxed in their travels.

Along the way we stopped to pay our respects to our service men and women who fought and died for us in the wars and the Bedouin were very respectful of this moment in time, we each laid a stone on a rock as a symbol of our respect, it was of course Remembrance Day.

Eventually we reached Mount Sinai, everyone except me wanted to visit the monastery, instead I had decided that I would walk up the mountain, not by the camel route but by the direct route, straight up. Along the way I was hoping for and got Tristram's Crackle (top left picture) and the Sinai Rosefinch (bottom right picture) two lovely birds.

During the walk up I was drawn to a rock which I decided I would try and break open and to my surprise I found crystals inside it, very beautiful ones at that. When the others joined me later I decided it would be nice to share these crystals so I went round the group giving a piece to as many people as possible.

On our way into Israel we stopped for something to eat and while I was sat eating some chips what came and landed on my table trying to steal chips from my plate, a Tristram’s Crackle that’s what I call sod’s law you hike up a mountain to see what you think is a hard to find bird and then it only goes and turns up on your table. That’s why I always say “never say never with birds they have a habit of proving you wrong”.

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