Store workers: Sinai not big on travel list

Hikers and campers prefer holidaying in the North and South, irrelevant of travel warnings.

Sinia red sea 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Sinia red sea 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
The news has been flush with stories of Israelis flocking to Sinai for Pessah in disregard of their government's warnings. However, the employees at Lametayel, a hiking and outdoors equipment store on Jerusalem's Rehov Yoel Solomon, seem largely unaware of any rush of hikers to Egypt. In fact, they can only recall a single recent customer who mentioned he was travelling to Sinai. "Yesterday, there was someone who said he wanted to go there, but his friends were afraid, so he had no one to go with," recalls Ahikam Gera, a salesman at Lametayel. "[Sinai] has a bad reputation right now." Among the store's colorful stock of backpacks, Crocs, hiking boots and camping stoves, Gera's coworker Inbal Vilner offers her own theory of why hikers may be avoiding Sinai. "I guess if they have a choice between Egypt and the North, they prefer the North - especially after all the talk in the news." Security warnings about the possibility of terror attacks in Sinai have even persuaded the outdoors-loving employees at Lametayel to reconsider their own desires to travel there. "I thought I would, but my friend is in [the] security [establishment]," explains Gera about his decision to avoid Sinai this Pessah. "He understands the situation more than me, and he said it would be really irresponsible to go to Sinai right now, so I guess he's right. But I wouldn't hesitate to go to Jordan." David Ben-Israel, an American living in Israel, also feels safe about travelling in Jordan. "I'm actually going to Jordan tomorrow," he says. "I'm going to Petra, and the Jordanians have got a tight control on their country." Adam Macmillan, another Lametayel salesman, reflects on what he sees as the absurdity of the terror warning for Sinai. "Israelis are really weird people," he muses. "They always say that there will be a big terrorist attack [in Israel]. But when someone says there will be a terror attack in Sinai, people are afraid to go there."