Basata Huts at Sunrise, Photo by Benjamin Orbach
BASATA, SIMPLICITY IN Arabic, is about 20 kilometers north of Nuweiba in Sinai, the peninsula south of Israel and Jordan, east of Suez, and across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia.
In the last ten years or so, I’ve traveled to Sinai seven times. Each time, it was to escape, whether from Jerusalem’s bus bombs, Ramadan fatigue in Amman, or just the honking of Cairo’s relentless traffic.
To me, the appeal of Sinai is, well, its simplicity. Basata and my previous haunts of Tarabin and Ras al Shaytan are small stretches of beach that border the turquoise colored Red Sea.
Rather than the five-star hotels and grand buffets of Sharm al Sheikh and Taba, these beaches are home to bamboo-thatched huts, handmade colorful Bedouin rugs, and those thin mattresses that are meant to be slept on under the stars.