As a result of the events occurring in Israel at this time, the day went a little different than the initial plan. Originally, we were to wake up from the Bedouin village at 4:00AM for a sunrise hike up Masada. Judicial changes by the Prime Minister have manifested many forms of protest recently. One of the main forms includes strikes under the national workers’ union, which is why we were unable to execute the hike. Masada, being a National Park, is property of the government, which requires park rangers to manage.
With that being said, the group was able to make the best out of the situation and continue our adventures in other ways. We had a packed day of plans, and woke up a little before 8:00AM to enjoy a breakfast provided by Bedouin hospitality. After getting our things packed and ready, we departed for our journey through the Judean Desert for a short 40 minute hike called Nahal Bokek. The views were absolutely beautiful, while the sun was brutal. We walked through diverse terrain, ranging from streams and reeds to big boulders and walls of stone.
Following this experience, we hopped back on the bus to set off for Kalia Beach, a resort along the Dead Sea. As soon as we arrived, we eagerly ate a delicious meal of falafel/chicken schnitzel. After all of the anticipation, we changed into our swimsuits and got into the water. Although it was short lived (due to the intensity of the salt), we had an amazing time floating around in the water and covering ourselves in mud. The terrain was incredible, made up of a combination of mud and salt.
Next on the agenda was riding camels. As routine, we packed our things and got back on the bus for Genesis Land. As we arrived, we were met with different colored camels, all absolutely adorable. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t holding on for dear life. Camels stand up with their hind legs first, so you must hold on and lean back after you mount them. We were led on a path overlooking the beautiful views of the desert, and before we knew it the experience was over. That wasn’t the end, as we were gifted with certificates stating we had been trained to “ride camels professionally” before heading out to Jerusalem.
The drive to Jerusalem wasn’t long, and after some time we ended up at our hotel. We washed up, and met for dinner. The food and conversation was amazing, and were able to explore the streets of Jerusalem as a group afterwards. We accomplished some shopping and ice cream before heading back to the hotel to rest for the next long day ahead of us.