Day 16: Wadi David
Trip Start May 14, 2008
42Trip End Jun 17, 2008
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It is about 8:30 AM, as we start our walk
The path through Wadi David is clearly marked. There really is no need for a guide from that perspective. But it was very interesting to hear Zabu's commentary on the rocks and the water in the area. He points out rock formations and tells us about the geology of the area. Take a look at the photos to get a feel for the area. A wadi is a canyon or dry river bed; this wadi had fresh water flowing with green plants growing in the area! Such a stark contrast to the surrounding area! Colors of brown earth and rock contrasted with the green plants. Fresh water set against the backdrop of the salty Dead Sea. Steep canyon with high walls set against the flatness of the Dead Sea plain. This wadi is a microcosm of Israel, full of contrasts.
Before returning back to the bus, Zabu reviews the map of the area and makes some additional hiking suggestions for us. He and the other guest set off on the return path, and I am set to embark further up the wadi. Harvey, however, has another idea. On our last trip here, we did not go swimming in the pools at Wadi David. He remembered this, and has his eye on one particular pool with a waterfall that he has sited and wants to go in for a dip before hiking further
Now we start our hike higher up the Wadi, heading towards Ein Gedi Spring. The path gets steeper and steeper. Harvey handles these trails with the sureness of a mountain goat. At points on the path, there are handrails in the wall to hold onto, which I appreciate very much. Sometimes the path has dirt as a path, sometimes the rocks were like steps, but it is always UP! We look down the canyon and the people keep getting smaller and smaller. We stop to drink several times and enjoy the views as they enfold before us. This land is living sculpture and is beautiful!
We have a map with us and the paths are well marked, so we find the Ein Gedi Spring with no problem
I want to say at this point that I am very proud that I hiked up and came down with style. For some reason, things look scarier to me going down than going up. I'm not crazy about heights. Today, not a whine from me, just slow steady steps. At times, I stop to look around and enjoy the view. At one point, Harvey stood in front of me at a turn in the path and said don't look up, just look at my feet and keep walking. I look back up at some point and understand and appreciate the help at that point - it was a sheer drop! All that conditioning training has definitely made a difference in my enjoyment of today. I feel like I have not only the cardio endurance for the hike, but the balance that gives me a feeling of confidence on narrow sheer paths. Thank you again Courtenay (my web trainer/high altitude hiking & conditioning coach) and Kevin (Pilates)!
After lunch, we come back to our room at Kibbutz Ein Gedi and take a long nap
Before dinner, we go to the lobby to check mail and we discover that the laptop is not working. We think it's the power adapter. We're trying to stay calm and consider our alternatives. We go back to our room and get the Apple technical support number as well as our support agreement number. The Apple support person agrees to send out another power adapter, but when she learns we're in Israel says that they don't ship to Israel; we don't stay on the line long enough to find out why. Hindsight says we probably should have really pushed this issue up to management at this point. Tomorrow we are off for 5 1/2 days of touring in Jordan and the Negev and we are not anticipating any internet, let alone cell phone access. I am concerned that without the computer, how will we upload our photos? Do we have sufficient memory cards for the remainder of our time in Israel? Who knows? We use the hotel computer to ask Trip Advisors for suggestions. Thank goodness there is almost immediate group brainstorming and contact information for when we get to Jerusalem. Relief. I comb through our luggage looking for the note pads that I had planned to use for journaling during the next portion of the trip in Jordan
Before leaving home, I had made a separate packing list for the next five-day portion of our trip. I find that now and look it over. Special amendments include leaving all the medication we will not be using in Eilat in the air conditioned office of Desert Eco Tours. Check check double check that all the camera batteries are fully charged! Tomorrow, we're dropping the car off in Eilat, so everything now has to fit in the luggage! Mission accomplished. I take the itinerary for this Dead Sea portion of the trip and pack it away. The Desert Echo Tours itinerary for the Jordan/Negev is pulled out and put with the driving maps for tomorrow morning.
Click here for today's photos!