The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings; Undertaken in Connection with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai and the Palestine Exploration Fund

By E. H. Palmer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII.
FROM SINAI TO SERBÁL.

Striking Camp. — Er Ráhah and the Nagb Hawa. — Supperless Halt. — Wady Soláf. — Destructive Flood. — A Bedawí Poet. — Feirán. — We dismiss our Arabs; amusing Scenes in Consequence. — Sheik Hassan. — Rephidim. — The Rock in Horeb. — Battle with the Amalekites. — Route from Rephidim to Sinai. — Jebel Tahúnah. — Hermits' Cells.

THE special survey of Jebel Músa was now so far advanced that nothing more remained to be done but the delineation of the hill-features by the "hill-sketchers" of the Royal Engineers, whom we had brought with us. But as this, involving tedious work on the bleak mountain tops, was impossible while the severely cold weather lasted, we decided to remove to Wády Feirán and begin operations in the neighborhood of Jebel Serbál: accordingly, by ten o'clock on New-year's-day, the once neat and symmetrical are of tents, with the clean swept space in front, was one mass of bales, boxes, and confusion. We had determined to go through the Nagb Hawa, taking with us the camels which carried the tents, but both 'Eid, our former sheik, and Embarek, whom he had brought with him as adjutant, declared that the road was impracticable: the discussion of this point caused a great deal of additional noise and squabbling. At last we allowed them to take the longer road round by Wády es Sheik, on their promising to meet us in Wády Gharbeh, at the other side of the pass; and after a frugal lunch of bread and figs, we started off for the appointed spot.

The morning was fine and clear, though rather hot; at breakfast the thermometer had stood at 22°, and we were now marching in a temperature of 95°. As we walked along the plain of Er Ráhah the effect of light upon the

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