Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 6 - Israel 2010 - 8-24-2010

Today started out on an odd foot. Belle was off. Bob was a bit less off, though definitely on the negative side. Bean and Puppy...well, they were oddly positive and close...even holding hands!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. We left Masada for the two hour ride to Mitzpe Ramon - the Ramon Crater...which soon we leaned is called "Machtesh Ramon" with no translation as there is nothing like it in the world. And thereby Machtesh- or Makhtesh was added to the dictionary.

But again, I'm getting ahead of myself. It was a long ride - with many of these signs...that cracked me up each time!
We got to the visitor's center to decide what to see from there. But it was closed for renovations!

We decided to take a quick walk to the observation point. That is where both Bob and Belle lost it. I think the magnitude of the two hikes from yesterday came flowing back to their psyche and they shut down. It was only 100 yards up the way...we could see the end from the starting point!

Bob came around, but Belle cried the entire way up. And Bean and Puppy?!? They held hands and talked to each other the entire walk up and back!

It was a magnificent view. 26 miles of a crater formed by erosion.

We took some pictures and then walked onto "Bio Ramon" - weirdly translated from the hebrew "Chai Ramon" - which means the "Life in Ramon" - aka zoo/preserve.

The girls did not want to join. So I took the boys while J made some calls to see if he could find us a Jeep ride through the Machtesh.

In my old age- I'm not a real lover...or even liker of most zoos. But each entrance price had a guided tour included. Puppy was free, Bob was 7nis and I was 13nis- so for a total of about $5.50 we had an awesome time and learned a lot. I think all of our favorite part was the porcupine and its quills.

Do you know that it has 3 kinds?

1. Long skin, wobbly ones to make itself look big to its prey

2. Shorter, wider, hard/pointy ones underneath the long ones to poke it's prey by backing into it, or stopping short for the prey to smash into it

3. Tiny hollow ones on their tales to make the sounds warning others to stay away!

After a quick bite of shwarma, we met out tour guide/jeep driver Tamir for a 2 hour tour of the Machtesh.

I don't know how I can describe in words how amazing this experience was. We spent 2+ hours driving off road through the crater, up the hills and mountains within- through the landscape. Truly amazing.

EVERYONE loved it! Belle and Bob probably the most! Puppy was doing amazingly... But the poor kid fell asleep half way through for about 30 minutes! No one could believe what he slept through...the bouncing, the tossing, the excitement in the car- J propping him back up on his seat as he bounced off!

He woke up in time for the amazing finally and views as we got out of the Jeep on one of the mountains in the Machtesh.

We then proceeded with the 3 hour drive home.

Mom and Aunt M came over to see us. Mom arrived in Israel with Grandma yesterday. The kids were asleep, but it was really nice to catch up as adults.

After 3 days it is good to be back at the apartment. Until the next adventure!

1 comment:

bySarah said...

I just read day 5&6 at once, so I am only making one comment...

WOW!! You guys are having the most amazing adventures. I know you children are going to remember this vacation for the rest of their lives, and you are too. I am so proud of you for making that hike too!

I am glad we are getting a peek into your vacation as you go along, I am really enjoying the pictures.