January has skipped past and I have had some travel adventures, so I will catch up with several posts today.
On January 9 and 10, I traveled into the Sinai desert to the yearly camel race between the two Nuweiba Bedouin tribes, which you will hear about next post. On the return trip we stopped here….
Nawamis are circular stone tombs located in the Sinai desert. The bones found in the tombs date from 4000–3150 BCE. We climbed to the top of this steep hill to see them, and had great views of the surrounding area. You can judge the height of the hill by the size of the people you see standing next to the Nawamis in two photographs, they had climbed up earlier.
Nawamis are constructed of sandstone, about 2–2.5 m (6.6–8.2 ft) high and 3–6 m (9.8–20 ft) in diameter, and have openings facing West. Some authorities believe that the stone structures are younger than the remains found in them. There are two places called Nawamis in South Sinai.
After the climb down, we had lunch. This included Bedouin bread made on the fire, a process I wanted to photograph since the first time I saw it made. Like many day to day experiences here, there had not been an appropriate time to photograph; I still hesitate to take photos if everyone is relaxing and I don’t want to spoil the atmosphere, and those times include end of day meals, when I feel the camera would be intrusive. This time I took some quick shots.
The rounds of dough are rolled out (here with a piece of plastic tube, who needs a fancy rolling pin?) then tossed from hand to hand to stretch the dough to a thin sheet. It is then placed on the reverse of a wok-shaped pan, and after a few minutes it is turned over to cook the other side. This bread is fast food at its best, eaten with foul beans cooked with tomato and chili, and a delicious dip of eggplant that had been smoked over the fire and the skin removed, pulped and lightly laced with lemon juice.