From early in 1848, Lear was thinking about a trip to Egypt. After nine months of travelling through the eastern Mediterranean, Lear finally reached Egypt in January 1849. The visit was brief. In Cairo he met up with his friend John Cross, with whom he set out for Sinai and Palestine. They spent three nights at the monastery at Sinai, but Lear took a fever and was forced to give up the trip and convalesce at Suez.