Friday, September 13, 2019

Israel Day 4: Ein Gedi

As we headed south, the environment changed form the green Judean hills around Jerusalem, becoming more dessert-like with every mile until we were indeed in the desert.

As we went, the land sunk lower and lower towards sea level, and then below sea level.

Right at the marker for sea level, there's a camel waiting that gives rides to those who want to stop and mark hitting sea level in a memorable way.

We carried on, descending below sea level, passing the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

The cave complexes where the Essene Sect set up their settlement until its destruction by the Romans around 73 CE.

The caves are cut right into the face of the mountains, and while the Dead Sea Scrolls were found here, not all caves have been explored yet, so more scrolls and artifacts may await discovery there.

Neat to drive past such history.

We then headed to Ein Gedi.

We passed by the Dead Sea. On the other side across the Dead Sea is Jordan.

Ein Gedi is an oasis in the dessert. We entered and began the hike up the hilly terrain towards the oasia.

It was getting hot, as in 114 degrees in the shade hot.

Ein Gedi is a series of small waterfalls with small pools not deep enough to swim in. Its about a 15 minute hike form the entrance to the first waterfall. A rather rocky, hot, hike.

But after the hike in, the water was refreshing.

Impressively the camera did not overheat.

On we went to the next waterfall, and interestingly enough a group of French pilgrims, led by a nun were there, sitting and discussing the history of Ein Gedi and the Bible.

We went to the third waterfall and then headed back.

On our way we came across a pack of Ibexes that were longing in the shade, including a cute juvenile Ibex. Apparently we were very lucky as they're rarely openly about during the day and rarely so close to people.

The next stop: The Dead Sea.

1 comment:

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

Those are some nice pics of Israel. Makes me really want to check the bucket list.