[P.473] no other road of three days march in the way from Suez towards
Sinai, nor is there any other well absolutely bitter on the whole of
this coast, as far as Ras Mohammed. The complaints of the bitterness of
the water by the children of Israel, who had been accustomed to the
sweet water of the Nile, are such as may daily be heard from the
Egyptian servants and peasants who travel in Arabia. Accustomed from
their youth to the excellent water of the Nile, there is nothing which
they so much regret in countries distant from Egypt; nor is there any
eastern people who feel so keenly the want of good water as the present
natives of Egypt. With respect to the means employed by Moses to render
the waters of the well sweet, I have frequently enquired among the
Bedouins in different parts of Arabia whether they possessed any means
of effecting such a change, by throwing wood into it, or by any other
process; but I never could learn that such an art was known.
At the end of three hours we reached Wady Gharendel [Arabic] which
extends to the N.E. and is almost a mile in breadth, and full of trees.
The Arabs told me that it may be traced through the whole desert, and
that it begins at no great distance from El Arysh, on the Mediterranean,
but I had no means of ascertaining the truth of this statement.
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