By the time we pulled up at the Basin on day 1, we were pretty tired. Hiking around the desert and scrabbling up and down rocks in 35 degree heat is no joke. We hadn’t exactly trained for this. So the idea of hiking another 800 steps up to the Monastery, having been told by any donkey handler worth their salt in business dealings that it would take 2 hours by donkey-back, was not one that thrilled us.
Fresh legs and 6 hours sleep later though, and it was a different story altogether. 800 steps? Easy. Doing it with sunscreen in your eyes? Not so much. Turns out you should really listen to the warnings on the sides of bottles – they’re there for your own good. A solid two hours later, as we began our descent, only then did the burning sting of sunscreen chemicals wear off – and only with regular helpings of water flushing via bottle cap. Ironically, sunscreen makes your eyes more susceptible to the sun. Funny that.