This morning we woke up bright and early after spending the night in the Bedouin tents in the hot desert in preparation for our group camel rides. At 7:30 we paired up and hopped on our camels for a trot around the desert and some antistatic photo ops. Before we left the Bedouin tents, we ate one last authentic meal of homemade lavash and then hopped on the buses to begin our day of outdoor adventures.
Nachal chaverim was our first stop and consisted of a great hike through a dried creek. Afterwards, we visited the gravesite of David Ben Gurion and played a mock game show to reveal important tenets of the first Israeli Prime Minister’s life. Before leaving, we were able to take a great group shot near the grave site and then traveled to Demona for a brief lunch break.
Once everyone in the group was sufficiently fed and rehydrated, we hopped on the bus en route for the best activity of the day: a water hike & swim in a desert Oasis. At Ein Gedi, Yonatan led the group on a brief hike up a waterfall and into a beautiful and crowded swimming area. Due to the immense heat and sun beating down on us all day, almost everyone immediately tossed off their clothes and hopped in the water for an amazing and refreshing swim.
Our final stop of the day was at Ana Masada Hotel, where we would be spending the night before hiking up the snake path of Masada. After dinner we explored and shared our feelings on Jewish identity, delving deeper into our connections to Israel and Judaism. Once again we have had another fantastic day in Israel and we are all looking forward to tomorrow…well not the 4:00 am wake up…but all of the exciting experiences the remainder of the trip has to offer.