The next leg of our journey was through the Negev Desert to the Dead Sea. After seeing the beautiful colors of this unique sea from Masada I was excited to go swimming, float in the high salinity water (it makes you buoyant!) and take advantage of the natural cosmetic effects of the water and the mud. We spent an afternoon doing just that and ending up completely covered in mud before and continuing on.
Eilat does not sleep. Lights everywhere; people crowding the streets and every night is a party. We headed out to some bars and nightclubs and went dancing all night to make the most of our short stay. It’s very warm at night; so much that it is not unusual to go swimming after a long night out partying. During the days the best way to cool off was to go snorkeling in the Red Sea. The complete opposite of the Dead Sea, the water was so blue and packed with vibrant sea life.
After a day of swimming we left Eilat to spend a night at a traditional Bedouin community. Descended from nomads, the community we visit live in tents with only the essentials, no TV and very little electricity. Was such a refreshing experience getting away from the constant barrage of technology of everyday life. When we arrived the tent was already filled with the scent of fire wood and home made cooking, and we were invited to sit and join the feast, with traditional stories and dancing rounding out the cultural experience. Once night fell, the distance from the city made for a spectacular night of stargazing.
The next morning we were treated to a sunrise camel ride – and while it was difficult to mount the camel (I had one which wasn’t particularly impressed with the whole idea nor of getting photos together) once we got going it was such a great experience. So incredible that these animals are so well adapted to the extremes environment and have been our lifeline for journeys through these deserts for thousands of years.
Our tour packed up and we made our way to Tel Aviv for the conclusion of our trip. We were very excited to see Tel Aviv because we had some friends who were studying in the city! We had planned to meet up with them before heading home and our timing in the city could not have been better. The White Night festival fell on the eve of our trip and you could hear the city getting ready. Beach parties, night clubs, restaurants open all night to celebrate.