Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Israel Adventures

I just got back from one of the coolest trip of my life. I spent three days with my yeshiva hiking in the negev, and I have to say i came so close to a splattering, quick and painless cliff side death that its kind of funny. well basically for three days I consistently found my self facing a 100+ foot/meter cliff.

The first day we left nice and early (yeah right) driving south west through occupied eretz yisrael, we actually passed Jericho and maale adumim to the Dead Sea aka Yam HaMe'lach (which oddly enough translates to salt sea), where we do some serious floating. Afterwards we hiked to the desert oasis of Ein Bokeq. Following that we hiked down Ma'ale Akarabim (scorpions pass), which is really cool because I for sure remember hearing about it in the Chumash. The high cliffs and all were cool, but the scariest part was watching the bus driver making insane turns on the cliff side roads in the dark, i have to say the ride home significantly increased my emunah in The Holy One.

Day two was fun fun fun in Makhtesh Ramon, for a basic idea of where that is, think half way between Be'er Sheva and Eilat. For further explanation on what in hell a Makhtesh I plagerized this from Wikipaedia:

A makhtesh is a geological phenomenon in which a large closed body of water gradually drains through a narrow outlet; the erosion process creates a crater-like valley. This phenomenon is unique to Israel.Although a makhtesh is often mistranslated as a crater, it is not a crater, because it is formed by water and not by a meteor.
We climbed a min and cliff-ridden 90 degree path through the barren wastelands of G-ds chosen land, during which a heck of a lot of people freaked out and thought they were for sure gonna die. For that matter our guide was a typical gung ho 60+ year old sabra who practically ran though the trail. At the bottom of this nameless cliff we were guided to a wild spring where were told we'd find some wild ass, apparently we scared off these wild ladies. The second hike of the day was probably the coolest hike of my life. That afternoon we climbed Mt. Ardon, which was also in the barren and beautiful wasteland of the Makhtesh. We walked like three miles just to get to the base of this insanely tall mountain. And then as we climbed this infinitely tall mountain, we would think we reached the top only to turn a corner and find another rather long climb. When finally did reach the top we could see practically the whole 9 km by 40 km makhtesh, it was and awesome view. Of course the best was saved for last, because like climbing down was literally a few miles of sandstone cliff side paths. Some were terrified, I personally loved it. We made it back to the bus literally ten minutes before the sun totally set and the desert became pitch black. So once again I came minutes from my bloody end, and the jackals and scorpions missed a tasty dinner.
That night we had a bonnfire in Mitzpe Ramon, and came close to burning down whatever trees were in the area. Speaking of nature, well in New York we have squirrels, Jerusalem has tons of stray cats and the Negev, well they have stray Ibexs. They are pretty much small Rams which wander around the barren and not-so-barren wastelands of the Negev and beg tourists for food.
During the third and final day we hiked Mt. Zinn, near Sde Boker. This place is actually mentioned in the Chumash as Midbar Zinn, part of what the Chumash calls the Sinai and where the Jews wandered for 40 years. Personally I preferred not to get that lost.
I spent 3 awesome days in the middle of nowhere, nearly died, and loved it. Israel Rules! Now I'm going to bentch gomel(prayer after G-d helps one out of dangerous situation).

1 Shpeils


Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

You know why this: At the bottom of this nameless cliff we were guided to a wild spring where were told we'd find some wild ass, apparently we scared off these wild ladies. is funny? Because when I was in Israel, I went with a bunch of girls to bring cookies and hot cocoa to chayalim at checkpoints. We pulled up to one and the driver rolled down his window for the chayal who wanted to know what we were up to. In Hebrew he said, "I bring you cookies, drinks, and girls."

Ah, I love Israelis. Sometimes.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:49:00 PM  

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