Birthright Israel 2018 (Part 3) #taglit
One of our busiest days of the trip included a hike up Masada, time at the Dead Sea and an overnight at a Bedouin camp. Phew, that was a long day and it started when we woke up at 3 am to be able to catch the sunrise at Masada.
I can honestly say that for the view, it was completely worth it to wake up so early. At the same time I am a total morning person and this was just another challenge to overcome on the way to a potential workout. I am pretty sure my entire bus thought I was insane as I was incredibly amped to race to the top. So, everyone put their phones in my backpack and I ran up to the top like the energizer bunny. There was something so peaceful about watching the sun rise overlooking the expansive desert terrain below. We heard stories about the legend of Masada and explored.
After a quick nap, we were off to the Dead Sea. I had been there before on a previous trip with my family. The sea itself is amazing, just how salty it is and the healing powers the the minerals possess. What struck me about this trip though is just how much lower the sea was that the years before. I wonder how long before it evaporates completely and is drained out. For now we get to enjoy its’ mystery and for someone who is terrible at floating under normal circumstances, this was a dream come true.
From the Dead Sea we went straight to the Bedouin camp, which I can honestly say was my least favorite experience. I have never claimed to love the outdoors, sleeping in tents is not really my thing. Sleeping in a tend with 40 of my peers in the middle of the dessert after seeing a camel spider in real life? DEFINITELY not my thing. The campfire was nice, being around friends was great, but then we had to go to sleep. There were so many eery noises! I was thinking about a camel spider coming into the tent to attack me. All of this to say, I was not very rested after this night.
But it was all ok in the end because we got to ride a CAMEL! I will say I much prefer camels to camel spiders, and ours was a very nice camel. He didn’t have the greatest dental hygiene, but that is to be expected. We didn’t get spit on and he didn’t try to bite the other camels’ butts, so I would call that a win. I actually rode a camel on my last trip to Israel with my cousin. The experience was slightly different but the basics were the same, two people to a camel and you better hold on tight because when they stand it gets a little rocky. Michelle and I tend to do things a little differently, so as we were riding along in the desert we were actually also doing some inner thigh work. Think like the horseback exercise in a pilates class. We just like to make the most of our time, sometimes that means multitasking with an exercise.
From the Bedouin tent, to the streets of Jerusalem. It was time to get cleaned up, check into our next hotel and then see the Israeli performer Netta at the Birthright Mega-event. There were so many people from Birthright at this event, I guess would guess a couple thousand. It was basically one big party in the middle of Jerusalem for us. We danced, we ate, met people from other trips that we had not met yet. While the day was incredibly long, and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep (a full night), it was definitely worth it to share the experience with my group.