Don’t Tell my Mother – Part I – The Paradox of lying!

I know that the name is ‘stolen’ from a show on Nat Geo Adventure, but unlike him, I really do wish some people will never read this post. Well I know my parents don’t check out the blog, but at least I hope any of those who know my parents wouldn’t tell THAT SPECIFIC story in front them. Could get in some trouble *Angel Face*


At the end of January, someone very special was here in Egypt. Her name is Anna, she’s somewhere between 45-50 years old, and she is a full time pilgrim. She has been on so many pilgrimages, all of them only on foot, very long routes, and all of them in winter. That’s why she was called – and now calls herself – the winter pilgrim.

So to say it in brief, Anna is currently on a pilgrimage from Santiago de Compostela, Spain, to Jerusalem, Palestine; All through North Africa, walking across 5 Arab countries. As an Arab, I know this is not easy. Even an Arab would be afraid to do such a thing. But well, she says it was really nice, and people are always very kind and helpful to a real old school pilgrim like her, who carries no money or extra food for the following days.

Pilgrimage route through North Africa

Pilgrimage route through North Africa

I found her blog by mere chance, and going through her latest posts I knew she was still in Continue reading

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Categories: Egypt, Sinai | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

That Small Particle called Sand

Inspired by last Friday’s twitter #FriFotos topic, and later on by AdventurousKate’s post about sand photos, I went through some of my albums and figured out I have loads of photos of sand, well some of them are pure sand, The great Sand Sea in Egypt. Some of them are your normal sand beach photos. Some are kind of rocky/sandy beaches. So I thought I could also share some of them. Well my favourite of them atleast.

Siwa, Egypt. Well most of my sand pictures are in that place. It is one of my favourite places on planet earth. Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons, Egypt, Siwa, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bashing a Sand Dune’s Virginity

Adrenaline rush. A little bit of a screaming like a kid on a roller coaster (and hitting the ground with my feet).

That’s what I did during a (I guess) less than 2 minutes descend of a sand dune near Siwa Oasis.

Amazigh Expeditions owns a small land there (a camp to be), and it’s where I spent my days in Siwa. Bordering the land is a HUGE sand dune, surrounding it from 3 directions. And their slope, I would say they are almost 90 degrees inclined.

The left hand side on the sand dunes

The left hand side on the sand dunes - the easiest looking

So its good sunny morning, we reached the camp Continue reading

Categories: Egypt, Siwa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sucking on Pebbles

In your Camino, sometimes you will have to do things you wouldn’t normally do, just to give you the feeling that you are going to survive.

On my Camino de Santiago, it was this day when I had planned to walk 30 Km, I was getting out of Burgos, a big city with a beautiful cathedral but what I hated about it (and all other big cities) is getting in and out of it when you have to walk through the ugly industrial areas. Also this day was at the beginning of my tendonitis and I didn’t really get what was wrong with my foot/leg but I couldn’t walk properly.

So I set off with two friends, Gastone and Jenny for the first 10 Km with no breaks and then we have Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

One further addition to the slow group

Previously I’ve mentioned how our slow walking group was gathered, and started increasing in number. I’ve written one post about how the initial group started, and then another one about how Chris joined in.

A few days later,one of the amazing people we met and that has been walking with us in an on/off pattern called us to meet up in Foncebadon, a city that was almost 25-28 Km from where we would start our walk.The day didn’t start off very good, it was really cloudy, and then started raining really bad.

Bad Weather

Bad Weather on the Camino

By noon, however, or as usual, it got really sunny and really hot. But not for too long, because by 3 in the evening it was Continue reading

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8 Reasons why I hate being a Pharmacist in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

I work in a pharmacy in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. It is our family business/thingy: My father in a pharmacist, and so is my sister. My mother, though not a pharmacist by profession, she has 20+ years experience in running the pharmacy by now, so by now she is actually better than many ‘real’ pharmacists. And so, after high school, I was forced to follow the family trend and study pharmacy, although I knew I hated it. And now looking at the possible careers, non of them seemed to catch my attention or to promise any self satisfaction, so again I was forced to work as a retail pharmacist, in our pharmacy.
And I hate it. I really do, from the bottom All my Heart.

#1
As mentioned before, I was forced to study it, although to be honest, I Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

And then More People became as Slow as us

In the first part of the story I mentioned how the group/gang was originally created. Where a group of four slow bar walker/bar crawlers joined together, Kerstin and Leo from Germany, Brady from USA and I.

Sometime later, on a sunny morning, 4 Km after Leon (a Beautiful city I’ll talk about later). We were having coffee in a bar in a small village. As usual we stayed there for SO long, some of us even drinking two cups of coffee (cafe con leche). Finally we got up, started walking, and we had to cross a street so we were waiting for the green light, when we saw Chris (The Johnnie Walker guy from the first and third day). We crossed the street together the he said (in a heavy Norwegian accent) “Mina, I saw you leaving the albergue two hours ago!! How did it take you so long to just reach here?”

Chris - Special made socks - Complemented by an old lady

Chris - Special made socks - Complemented by an old lady

Embarrassed, I replied “Well we stayed almost 50 minutes in that previous bar”
“You take breaks that early?”
“It’s our second Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Great People of the camino – Ismael

“This guy over there I think he is Arab like you, his name is Ismael” that’s what Linda, one of the very good friends I made told me after dinner in Zubiri, my 3rd night on the Camino.

“Yes, Ismael is an Arabic name!” I said happily, thinking I finally found someone Arabian. Although with my first glance at him I knew he wasn’t Arab, or atleast 100% not Egyptian!

Ismael (On the right)

Ismael (On the right)

I went over and started talking to him, he was already in a Continue reading

Categories: Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How I met my friends on the Camino de Santiago

This is actually a funny story, or maybe it is only funny for us, the group that formed and bonded out of the blue. I’ll just share it with you anyway.

Our group, the people that reached Finisterre, some of us have left a couple of days before.

Our group, the people that reached Finisterre, some of us have left a couple of days before.

I started walking the first day out of Saint Jean Pied de port with the couple that I met and hitch hiked with/without from Pam Continue reading

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Injured In The Desert

Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, you look in all directions around you and all you see is yellow sand dunes. Amazing yeah? Well it is! It is breath taking and stunning and all those words that describe beautiful places. But at some point you wish you were in a city, a place where an ambulance can reach you. Well I had that feeling for a fraction of a second when I thought I broke my spine! Luckily though, it was only a strong cramp in my back muscles.

We were crossing through the desert, me and my friend from Amazigh Expeditions. We were heading to a hot spring to have a shower there. A lovely morning, with lovely sand, warm weather in January (the previous night was freezing cold so I was really enjoying the sun at noon), no speed limit, no traffic signs, you just speed and drift to take turns, no specific streets; it’s heaven!

Sand Drifting

Sand Drifting

Suddenly, we hit a small speed bump like structure made of Continue reading

Categories: Egypt, Siwa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The More You Climb, the More Painful it is to Descend

The best thing about starting the camino in Saint Jean Pied de Port was seeing how hard it is from Day 1 – well I have been seeing how bad it is before even walking the first day out of SJPP – but even when you smoothly reach SJPP, first day out is not an easy one, some even call it the hardest day of the whole camino! The town itself is on a mountain cliff so taking an afternoon walk through SJPP means you are climbing up and down all the time! But walking west towards Spain meant you are climbing the Pyrenees, and then descending them towards Roncesvalles.

Heading West Towards Spain (Looking Backwards)

Heading West Towards Spain (Looking Bacjwards) Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Day We Stole a Dog

There are times when you get a choice between the easy path and the hard one, yet you still choose the hard path. For different reasons, maybe to prove it to yourself, maybe to prove it someone else, and maybe even just to brag about it later; but the basic fact is, me and my Camino friends decided to walk “el Camino Duro” (Translation from Spanish: The Hard Way) when we had this option on day 26 of walking between Cacabelos and Vega de la Valcarce.

Climbing "el Camino Duro"

Climbing "el Camino Duro"

We started climbing, and climbing, and climbing, it was an endless climb, and in no time we were high above Continue reading

Categories: Camino de Santiago memories and lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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