Day 113 of 400: The Dead Sea and Negev Desert – Israel

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The sun rising behind the mountains over the dead sea in the early morning when the world is still is one of those moments you don’t forget.  We packed up our stuff and eating a breakfast of salad (in Israel, there is always a salad for breakfast) we stopped at the manufacturing plant Ahava to pick up some dead sea body lotion before going back to the dead sea for a mid morning swim.

After being in the sun a little too long, we jumped back in the car and continued through the Judean dessert stopping for pictures along the way.  This area had a great nature reserve but to get to it we had to drive down a long rocky dirt road.  When we got out to take pictures…all you could see was miles of desert.  It was sweltering hot outside…if we didn’t know there was a major road a few miles away we would have thought we were stranded in the middle of no where.

As we continued on…Ayal told us about a huge manufacturing company that is literally destroying the dead sea.  They are mining the minerals from this body of water and it is causing the sea to become depleted.  You can see their massive plant on one end of the sea with all kinds of pipes and facilities scarring the view.  How can a company take advantage of a natural wonder like this to the point of destroying it?  It is not as if they are taking small amounts…you can actually see where the sea use to be and now where it is…I read that in 50 years if nothing is done to change the situation, it will disappear.

Next stop, through the rocky off roads was the small crater.  This crater was not caused by a volcano but by the shifting of plates.  We drove right up to the entrance and then got out and hiked up the mountain by foot.  It was full of small rocks…not a smooth service.  We climbed up pretty high and looked at it from a bird’s-eye view.  The hot wind was blowing pretty hard but climbing slowly up was worth the effort.

It was starting to get a little later into the evening when we arrived at our bed and breakfast Zimmer.  There were two small almost cabin-like but not made of wood individual houses sitting in the middle of the Negev Desert side by side.  They were very cute and comfortable.  The floor inside was made of all pebbles.  There was a small mini kitchen and small living room downstairs and up the six steps and within view from the downstairs was the bed and shower and the toilet was a separate room.  Ok, let’s talk about the toilet….it was a normal sized bathroom with a sink and a mirror but the toilet had no running water.  So…when you sit on the toilet…you can see in the back is a plastic bag and in the front is what looks kind of like a strainer.  When you pee, it goes through the strainer and when you poop it goes into the plastic bag.  Ummm….not a fan.  While we are on the subject…can we talk about the shower?  We have found this type of shower all over Europe as well.  There is a shower nozzle that you hold in your hand…but no where to hang it so that the water can shower you while you rinse off.  So, you have to spray yourself down (and all the walls around you) then soap up while you shiver and then rinse off.  There is no 20 minute hot shower to enjoy.  Why?

It was dinner time and luckily we had fresh pasta makings and our chef Giff.  He whipped up two different pastas in the tiny kitchen, one in a cream sauce and one in a red sauce as well as bruschetta to start.  We also made a salad and did all of this with the items left from our Jerusalem market purchases.  Dinner was super good and we all sat outside on the porch to enjoy it.  It was really interesting to look out and see all desert around our place.  No streets or people in sight.

We climbed into bed and fell fast asleep after a busy day.

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