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Youth Hostel, Nature Reserve and The Dead Sea
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 23:27 7th Grade | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Israel | Physical and Health Education | Walk

This morning after a quick swim, we packed our bags and headed for the bus station to catch our bus to Ein Gedi at The Dead Sea. It took about 3 hours to get there after a slight mixup with our bus driver who didn't stop to drop us off where he was supposed to.

We finally arrived at the Youth Hostel and checked in just in front of three HUGE busses of students ages 10-16. They were also checking in! We found our room and it was simple, clean and had a great view of The Dead Sea. It was a little worse than a room at camp. We had dinner with the hundreds of students in the Dining Hall. I had chicken and pasta and potatoes (my favorite!). We went to bed to rest up for our hike on Monday in the Ein Gedi Reserve.

Monday morning we got up, had breakfast and headed around the corner to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. We started up the trail in David's Canyon and within about 15 minutes arrived at our first waterfall. It was small but pretty so Michael and I decided to jump in. The water was kind of murky from the air churned in from the waterfall, but completely fresh and clean. It felt wonderful! Treading water underneath the waterfall felt like having thunder thrown on your shoulders. It was great! After our swim there, we got back on the trail and headed to David's Waterfall. Unfortunately, because of the danger of falling rocks, it was closed. So, we jumped in to another waterfall instead. The water in this one was more clear but way colder since the sun had gone away. It was refreshing anyway though, and the waterfall was even bigger!

We made our way down the trail. My Dad had wished he could see some Ibex - like mountain goats (search on them!). My Mom spotted some including many babies. There were at least 20 females and babies included and only one male. As we walked further on, they just kept on popping up. It must have been the time of day that they like to eat! They seem like gentle creatures, but if you touch a baby, the mother will no longer take care of it because its scent will change.

After a quick bite to eat, we left the Reserve and headed for The Dead Sea.

At The Dead Sea (10 minute walk down the road), we purchased the all-important shower tickets for rinsing off after being in the Sea. Then we headed to the beach to try it out. I walked slowly into the water and it was warm and clear. The day was very windy so there were some whitecaps on the water. As I walked further out I got a foot into the water, tried leaning back as if I were in a chair, and all of a sudden, I started to bob up and down like a drifting jellyfish. It was an amazing experience! One big thing to avoid though, is facing the wind, and getting any amount (even a little drop) of water on your face, mouth, eyes, and especially in your nose (trust me on that one!). I floated around with my family for some time before saying that was enough and time for a shower. I will never forget that feeling of floating freely!

We went back to the Hostel, made chicken soup in the hot pot and called it a day.

Tomorrow we go to Jerusalem.


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