The climb is not too simple though as the dirt has turned into wet clay with the rain and I volunteer to carry my friend Marina, nicknamed Monkey, as far as I (the camel) can go. I make it about half way up as she is about Jorge's size!
The view is limited by the overcast sky but the thought that they built and lived there 2,000 years ago is still mind numbing, if the wind isn't. Supposedly they stored enough food to house a community of 1,000 for up to 2 years... truly amazing the things people used to do with such limited technology!
Back down on the bottom we motor on to a spa for some rejuvenation at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. I hit up the sulfur baths before reading the sign that no silver is supposed to go into the tubs.
Needless to say, my necklace and ring discolor like clockwork and I get pissed as I read the sign on my way out. I should have noticed the smell of sulfur had it not been for a constantly runny nose! The sun clears up just in time for a run down to the water (which is receding every year and continues to pick up pace) and we all enjoy a good float in the sea as well as a little eye stinging.
I'm reminded as to how much I love swimming but not before Julia inspects my ring's new color only to drop it in the water, lost forever... or until someone else finds it!
Last stop of the day is a kibbutz where we will be staying the night, our last of the trip. We have some quality team time in between discussions about how we can return to Israel on different programs. Yael teaches us a new game called Pinnochio, which is entirely way to fun for such a simple game.
Essentially everyone takes turns jumping and the point is to jump on someone else's foot. The catch: everyone can jump as long as they only jump while the person who's turn it is moves! Our group has been entirely burned out and everyone goes to sleep early instead of staying up for one last night together.
The group is sick. It doesn't help that sleep has been limited and proximities immediate, but the group is definitely sick and getting worse. The rain (first of the trip) and cold doesn't help much, however, we suck it up and head off to hike up Masada. I've been here before but recall it to be a much tougher trek.