The Northern Branch, Which Is
Called El Dhelel [Arabic], Bounds The View From Mount St. Catherine.
turning to the east, I found that the mountains in this direction,
beyond the high district of Sinai, run in a lower range towards the Wady
Sal, and that the slope of the upper mountains is much less abrupt than
on the opposite side.
From Sal, east and north-east, the chains
intersect each other in many irregular masses
[p.575] of inferior height, till they reach the gulf of Akaba, which I
clearly distinguished when the sun was just rising over the mountains of
the Arabian coast. Excepting the short extent from Noweyba to Dahab, the
mountains bordering on the gulf are all of secondary height, but they
rise to a considerable elevation between those two points. The country
between Sherm, Nabk, and the convent, is occupied also by mountains of
minor size, and the valleys, generally, are so narrow, that few of them
can be distinguished from the point where I stood, the whole country, in
that direction, appearing an uninterrupted wilderness of barren
mountains. The highest points on that side appear to be above Wady Kyd,
above the valley of Naszeb, and principally the peaks called Om Kheysyn
[Arabic] and Masaoud [Arabic].
The view to the south was bounded by the high mountain of Om Shomar
[Arabic], which forms a nucleus of itself, apparently unconnected with
the upper Sinai, although bordering close upon it. To the right of this
mountain I could distinguish the sea, in the neighbourhood of Tor, near
which begins a low calcareous chain of mountains, called Djebel Hemam
(i.e. death), not Hamam (or bath), extending along the gulf of Suez, and
separated from the upper Sinai by a broad gravelly plain called El Kaa
[Arabic], across which the road from Tor to Suez passes.
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