The seventh day of the trip was by far the most intense and active. It began at 3:30am, when we awoke to go to Masada. We got up so early so we could make it to the top in time to see the sunrise. Despite how short the hike was (about an hour), it was the most difficult hike so far because it was so humid and so steep. It turns out that we took the most difficult path to the top, the "snake path." Once we
got to the top the feeling of accomplishment and the magestic sunrise made the hike worth it.
After the sunrise we explored the ancient ruins on the top of Masada, learning all about the history and cool facts. For example, when
people resided on top of Masada, they used pigeon feces as soil fertilizer. Aside from the new knowledge we learned, another special event took place atop Masada. Four poeple from our group celebrated a Bar/Bat Mitzvah - some for the first time, others as a symbolic
act of renewal. Two other people in our group had a "naming ceremony" at which time they chose Hebrew names for themselves, since
they were never given one as babies. This was a very cool experience to witness and a fun place to have the ceremony.
After spending significant time on the top of the mountain, we began our descent back down to the foot of Masada. The walk down was
easier in some ways, although harder on the knees and ankles. After breakfast and some shopping at the Masada gift shop, for AHAVA
and other Dead Sea beauty products, we headed to the dead sea to swim - well, actually, float! But beware - if anyone had a cut on
their body - they burned (but ultimatley were super cleaned out!). Not only did everyone get a chance to go into the water, they also
were able to cover their bodies in dead sea mud. It turns out that mud (well this mud), is one of the best natural remedies and exfoliants
for the skin. The whole group left with silky smooth skin :-)
Believe it or not, the day didn't end there! After we had our fill of the dead sea, we made our way to the grave site of David Ben-Gurion. Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel. We heard about how he was a hard and stubborn man, but if it was not for these
character traits, Israel may not have gotten Independence. He spent his last years on a ranch in the Negev, where he was ultimately
Our LONG day ended with an overnight stay at a Bedouin village/tents. But first, we were taken on Camel rides around the desert. Then
we listened to a Bedouin man explain the lifestyle and culture of nomadic Bedouin's, as he offered us small cups of coffee. The epic day
ended with an authentic Bedouin dinner, afterwhich we had a campfire. At the campfire, we enjoyed scary stories, marshmellows, and
overall, a fun and nice way to end a long and exciting day.