Heading Back To The States, And Eilat

27 02 2011

Late tomorrow night we fly back to JFK, arriving in New York in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday. This trip has been fantastic. Birthright was fun, seeing friends and family was a pleasure, and having time to adventure / lounge in sunny Eilat was a nice break from cooler weather. And I’m leaving the country with a mission: to come back in 2012 and hike the 620 mile Israel National Trail.

Religion Tel-Aviv Style

Religion Tel-Aviv Style

The rest of our stay in Eilat was less exciting than our attempted night out on the beach. We met up with our wonderful friends Hanna Tova and Shimon from the Old City in Jerusalem, and ended up spending a night at an opulent hotel courtesy of their kids’ nanny having to head home early. What a contrast to our sleepless beach night just 24 hours earlier. I slept straight through from 5:30pm to 8:00am!

Diving in Eilat was… interesting, as my forgetting our log books made for some annoying changes in our dive plans. Ayo ended up diving with two friends on an “Intro To Scuba” dive with a subpar guide, while I did a refresh dive with a guide who was fine. The general experience may have been a pain, but nothing could detract from the Red Sea as a dive spot, and the visibility and marine life more than made up for the headache. (One highlight: a large – maybe 24″ – tropical fish followed me around for the entire dive, trying to “splash” sand in my face. The sand didn’t bother me one bit, and it was nice to have some personal attention from a fish.)

We spent our last night in Eilat with a friend’s family, which gave us the chance to see the Eilat that people actually live in. Our hosts spoke almost no English, which afforded us a great opportunity to use our Hebrew full-time. By Friday night dinner we were at a comfort level where we were telling jokes in Hebrew.

Separately, check out some photos from our hike in Almog. I spent today researching the Israel National Trail. It’ll be a fun challenge and I really like Israel’s terrain. Anyone want to join? It’ll likely be in March 2012 for a bit over two months.

At The Trailhead

At The Trailhead

Camels In The Gorge

Camels In The Gorge

Ayo and Max Hiking In

Ayo and Max Hiking In

A Ladder In Wadi Og (Click To See It Clearer)

A Ladder In Wadi Og (Click To See It Clearer)

Ayo Climbing One Of The Many Ladders

Ayo Climbing One Of The Many Ladders

posted by yair

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3 responses

27 02 2011
Diana

Looks like a great hike. Love the hot dog sign!

28 02 2011
jayhorowitz

It was awesome. (Both things, but in this case the hike.) It’s getting me stoked for southern Utah, which I hear has some very similar terrain to the Negev.

1 03 2011
Ross Judice

Welcome back to the U.S.! I can’t wait to go back and read about your adventures to date and get your updates via RSS.

I spent a couple of weeks in Israel studying the emergency medical services system (Magen David Adom). Apart from learning tons, our hosts took such great care of us. The medics drive like their at the Indy 500 – definitely a white knuckle experience. I brought many of the practices, especially mass casualty procedures, back to my service in the U.S. The experience is among my top 5 of all time.

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