Israel: The Dead Sea
During the holiday of Sukkot, which is 7 days long in Israel, schools are still on vacation and many offices are closed fully or partially. It's a popular time for many people and families to take a tiyul, or trip, often to the north or south. My sister decided to take off a few days from work and the four of us rented a car and headed down south, to the Dead Sea. Manor and I both hadn't been there in many years so it was a real treat.
It's very beautiful there, and aside from taking a dip in the mud and water of the Dead Sea, there are also several hikes in the area. Lucky for us, Dudu is a certified guide and knows a ton about hundreds of hikes throughout the country. He also knew about a semi-secret beach on the Dead Sea, away from the main "Mineral Beach," which is usually packed.
We weren't completely alone, but there were very few others with us, some of whom felt isolated enough to be nude. Seeing the cliffs of Jordan on the other side of the sea is pretty majestic, and we went close to sunset so the rocks got nice and pink.
The water was, of course, very salty. It's pretty fun to float in, but it does get burn-y pretty quickly. Putting the mud on was really fun, and it does feel super smooth. And when we washed it off our skin did feel really soft.
Adina and Dudu also picked a great place for us to stay the night, Metzoke Dragot, which is perched on a high cliff, overlooking the Dead Sea.
Aside from regular rooms, they also have large family tents, that actually looked like large sukkahs, in keeping with the theme. They came equipped with mattresses so we brought sleeping bags and were good to go. However, we still woke up with the sunrise, which happened to be beautiful.
After sunrise we went back to sleep for a few hours, but while we were snoring Adina woke up and got to see a bunch of ibex (type of wild mountain goat common to the Middle East) right by our tent! Luckily, she took pictures.
We finally made it out to Wadi Amog for a 2-3 hour hike. It was definitely hot, but Dudu chose this hike because it has some shady spots, in the form of large cliffs overhead. That was certainly appreciated! There is also some fun climbing and great views at the end.