Today was perhaps our most physical day. As I predicted last night, everyone slept cold but me. Too bad, but ah well. Anyway, after a yoga session, breakfast, and breaking camp we drove just a little ways from camp where Chaim dropped us off for the longest hike of the trip. The mitspe is something like a crater, except it’s not created by a meteor impact. The mitspe itself is a sunken valley caused by soft stone eroding out from between high walls of hard stone. Mitspe Ramon is the largest of the 5 known mistspe in the world. The walls themselves are a couple thousand feet high. The hike paralleled the valley at the base of the cliff and then ascended below the town of Mitspe Ramon itself. The hike was long for most of our group, some 3-4 miles in length.
Once we reached the top of the cliff at the town overlook we took a bit of a rest and to take pictures of the resident, and protected, ibex. They were’ unafraid of us and let us get quite near. After resting for a bit we met with our rappelling guides and spent the afternoon cycling everyone through the two rappel stations. They were good, short rappels, which functioned as a great introduction for the newbies and a fun exercise for those of use who have gone before.
After all the excitement of the rappels, we hopped back on the bus for the trip to visit the tombs of David Ben-Gurien and his wife. We spent the rest of the afternoon, minus lunch, there and even had a closing ceremony with our soldiers as they would leave us once we reached Tel Aviv. The ceremony finished and our photos taken, we moved on to Tel Aviv and the Golden Beach hotel. The hotel is MUCH nicer than the Park in Jerusalem and the food is spectacularly better. After unpacking and cleaning up we headed out to visit the local night scene. I didn’t stay out that long. I figure I’ll go on my own and visit places I’m more interested in than the nightclubs. I’m going to catch some extra Zs and pack for tomorrow so I’m ready for leaving the group for Jerusalem. Until then!