Our cruel overlords had us up and packed on the buses by 7:30 am, but when we reached the Ein Gedi nature reserve before anyone else and started our hike by seeing ibexes (I don’t actually know what the plural of ‘ibex’ is) in the parking lot, we’d forgiven them. In Hebrew, the ibex is called a yael, which is a popular Hebrew name both in Canada and Israel.
We hiked in to 3 different waterfalls, seeing more ibex and a weird little rodent thing that our tour guide called a rock bunny but said is closer in relationship to an elephant. It’s proper name is hyrax. You can totally see the elephant resemblance, don’t you think?
Paul misbehaves for the photo op:
And then we were off again, this time to Masada. After regaining some of our energy over lunch, the group split into two – the crazy and the sane – for the trip up to the top. The sane went in the cable car. The crazy walked up the snake path (about 45 minutes straight up in about 40C sunshine).
Doesn’t this look like fun?
We toured around the top:
After Masada, it was off to our hotel for the night. The hotel was a restort right on the Dead Sea, so we got to float in the bath-temperature water and play with mud. It was a long day, but a really great one!
As always, I will put more photos up on DBI’s Facebook page.