And then I went hiking in the desert.

And what an adventure I had. From the wee hours of Friday morning until yesterday night, I was out of town with 75 of my closest International School cohorts tromping around the Negev Desert, in Ramon Crater and the mountains outside the resort town of Eilat. That is a whole lot of adventure to cram into one blog post, so I’ll summarize as best I can.

On Friday…

We drove to the Negev (about four or five hours) and stopped along the way at ruins that used to be a city along the spice trade route that ran through the area. There were about 40-50 mile per hour winds but we learned some stuff, so that was good. Once we got to Ramon Craters, we started walking, first down down down a steep wall, then all through the crater, stopping for lunch on some rather cool rock formations. Then we had to walk up up up out of the Crater to the bus, which was a beautiful sight, especially since the hike was about two miles longer than it was supposed to be since the busses couldn’t make it as far down the roads as they were supposed to. But it was an adventure. This is a picture of some of us eating lunch. You can tell I scrambled up a bit higher to sit and eat mine.

On Friday night…

We slept in a Bedouin tent and almost all of us pitched in to make a great dinner. It was rather chilly in the Negev (around 40 degrees probably) and it even rained (rain in the desert? Yes, it’s been a very odd weather year in Israel), but we had a good time all snuggled in with our sleeping bags. This picture is a view of about half the tent.

On Saturday…

After everyone’s favorite breakfast of pita and imitation Nutella, we set out again, this time, climbing up a mountain to get a view of the desert. This was some of my favorite time the whole weekend because we were literally climbing up rock faces and scooting along paths sometimes barely a foot wide on the edges of mountains. It was very adventurous. The pics here are myself overlooking the desert, part of the path we took and part of the afternoon’s trek, which included a narrow gorge.

On Saturday night…

We went to Eilat! Eilat is a resort town on the Red Sea where we stayed in a super nice hostel and I went to a lovely dinner with three friends to celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

On Sunday…

We climbed a mountain on the outskirts of Eilat, where we could see Israel, Jordan (which is literally a quarter mile away), Egypt, and the haze that was shielding our view of Saudi Arabia. So four countries in one. In the first picture, I have one hand on top of Israel and the other on Jordan. I’m facing Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Then we took rather treacherous paths down the mountain (photo below) to the beautiful beach (also below), where we spent two beautiful hours in the sun before heading back to the bus which brought us back to “lifa in Haifa” as they say.

Overall, it was a really great trip. It was my biggest adventure yet on this big adventure and I am so glad I went and the ol’ knee held out. If we’re Fbook friends, check out way more pictures there. The funniest thing about all the pictures is that I’m sure it just looks like a bunch of rocks, but if you were there and listening to our tour guides who were rather passionate about the geology, they’re all actually very different. Not that I’ll remember that a few days from now….

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Friends, Photos, Travels | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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