Monday, August 16, 2010

Diary of the travelling Yid (fin?)

Well almost. Only one night remains from this trip to savour the sights, sounds, ok yes... and smells in and around Jerusalem. Let me go back a bit though and finish the lead-up on how we got here. So when last I left off we had departed from Sderot for Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is where you'll often climb Masada at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise over the ruins on the mountain top. Now we only had lunch at the base of Masada, the view even at mid-day though was absolutely breathtaking.

Not since 1996 when last I was in Israel during the summer months, that I have ever again encountered 45 to 50 degree heat. The dip in the Dead Sea was much needed. In the Dead Sea, for those who do not know, there is such a high concentration of salt water, one needs only to lie on one's back in the water and floating is a breeze. No effort to stay buoyant is required.

Cooled off for the most part, it didn't last long. The next activity on the itinerary was to ATV in the Judean Hills. Offroading in Golf Kart-like Jeeps, we blazed the trails on a wild ride to desert ruins. It looked like a scene out of the Lion King with a tree in the middle of the cavern, reminiscent of when Simba was trapped during the Gazelle stampede. It was a dusty trek there and back to where we started from, but the excitement of the ride and the chance to get behind the wheel and drive was an opportunity not to be missed.

So that was how we wrapped up our time in Ein Gedi. With one great meal at a nearby Kibbutz and a phenomenal meditation session led by Daniel - our guide under desert stars - we returned to our hostel for the night. The time to push on was at hand and with one final lookout over Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea it was off to Yerushalayim.

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