Exploring the Western & Central Negev

ramahridehikeSouthern Israel Trip 2019

Video | Wednesday, April 3 | Our riders and hikers were treated to glorious blue skies today, along with a desert in bloom with beautiful flowers after an unusually rainy period.

Our bikers rode through the Western Negev—passing the science fiction-like Megalim Solar Thermal Power Station (aka “The Eye of Sauron”) and stopping at the ruins of the Nabatean city of Shivta. From Shivta, our most advanced riders, the Mumchim, continued to the Nitzana Educational Eco-Village before riding back to Mashabei Sadeh for lunch. Our Shoafim and Bogrim rider groups rode through Nitzana and were rewarded with a Bedouin lunch at Khan Be’erotayim Desert Lodge before taking the bus back to Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh for some relaxation by the pool.

Our hikers began today’s Central Negev adventure with a bus ride during which they learned about the 500,000,000 birds that migrate through Israel each year, as well as the origins of a “makhtesh,” a unique geological formation created through erosion. All hikers began at the Hatira Canyon just outside the Makhtesh HaGadol and were greeted by magnificent vistas as they explored the Yorkeam Spring and hiked through the wadi to the Palmach Ascent. At the Palmach Ascent, hikers divided into two groups for various levels of challenge for the remainder of the day’s hiking and a stop at the Yamin Water Hole for a picnic lunch. On the way back to Mashabei Sadeh, the group stopped for well-deserved coffee in Dimona and the opportunity to reflect on the majesty of the nature that surrounded them today.

After dinner and safety briefings, Ramah camper parent Cary Gleicher, the FBI Legal Attaché in Tel Aviv, and several of his FBI colleagues fascinated our group with a discussion of their work in counterterrorism and cooperation with the Israeli authorities.

We are all looking forward to another day of riding and hiking as we move to our next destination, Mitzpe Ramon.

Layla Tov from Mashabei Sadeh.