Israel Journey 5C: Update #3

Dear Friends and Family,

Shalom from the beautiful coastal city of Netanya!

We arrived here after an incredible 3 days in the south of the country. We spent Monday morning driving north through the desert, stopping to take some photos at the spectacular Maktesh Ramon.

We then when to Mitzpe Ramon where we did archery and made colorful sand bottles. We had some sharp shooters in the group, especially Valerie, who hit seven small balloons in the short distance archery station. After lunch, we drove to Sde Boker, which is where David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, lived and is buried. We had a great time exploring his home and learning about the desert through interactive and educational group activities.

The next day we went on a hike in Ein Avdat where we saw beautiful natural springs in the desert. We then headed to the Dead Sea for some effortless floating in the lowest body of water on Earth. Even though it was a hot day, this didn’t stop our group from applying Dead Sea mud to our skin and opening up out pores in the salty water.

Our next adventure was a Bedouin Tent Experience at K’far Hanokdim. We arrived at 4:45 pm, settled into our accommodations in a Bedouin tent, and got ready for the evening. We learned about desert technology, which included one of our teens, Seth, biking fast enough to produce an electric current that turned on a blender. We are glad it worked as we received cold orange juice smoothies thanks to his efforts! We then rode camels and enjoyed tea and coffee with our Bedouin host. After a delicious dinner, we had a short night of sleep as we headed to our Masada at 3:30 am. We were overjoyed as the sunrise was stunning. We spent two hours exploring Masada and hearing the story of the historical landscape and people who lived there.

We then went to Ein Gedi to cool off in the waterfalls before heading to Netanya. After arriving in the hotel, we had dinner and ended the night admiring the sunset on the Mediterranean Sea. Today, we toured the Museum of the Jewish People at Tel Aviv University and are exploring the ancient port City if Jaffa.

Tomorrow we head to Jerusalem for Shabbat!

Brad and Chelsea

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