Our anual trip to Eilat took place on the last weekend of January 2009.
Some of us started the weekend off with a visit to Mamshit, a Nabatean City just south of Dimona on route 25. Follow the links for more information.
During our visit, we took a walk along Nachal Mamshit. We saw two dams, one based on an ancient nabatean dam, and one built by the british. The dams collected flood waters to be used for agriculture.
After our visit, we continued south to Eilat, checked in to the field school.
Most of us met up for supper at a restaurant.
We found out that our original destination, Nachal Gishron, was closed by the army due to 'the situation', and that we'll have to do a different hike.
On Friday morning we drove towards the montains overlooking Eilat. We picked up our guide, Dan, at the back entrance (or was it the exit) to Eilat, and then continued up route 12 towards Har Yehoram. We left our cars at the trail head and started climbing towards the peek follwing the black trail. At the end of the first climb a vista opened up and we had a lovely view of the area, The black rocks of Har Shlomo in contrast with the light rocks of Har Yehoram.
At the peek there is a memorial to two soldiers who died while on an orientiering exersize in the area. After a short rest we followed the black trail down the other side of the mountain. At the intersection with the red trail, we turned left and continued downhill. The trail was very steep, and a few of us slipped and left parts of themsleves on the mountain.
The trail ended in Nachal Netafim. We turned right onto the green trail that took us down Nachal Netafim. At this point we had to scramble down some dry waterfalls.
At the intersection with the blue trail, we started climbing up Nachal Bat-Sheva or Nachal HaMapalim. During the climb, we had to use handhold bolted into the rock, and at one point, a hand rail.
At the top of the climb, most of the group continued down the blue trail, while most of the drivers took the black trail back to the cars. Along the way we heard some more explanations and saw a place where with one step you cross 500 million years, or at least that what the plack said.
We got to the cars and drove down to where the rest of the group was waiting. Drivers who had not come with the drivers group, were taken to get their cars.
On the way back to Eilat, our guide took us to an abandoned army outpost overlooking Eilat. From there we could see 3 countries (Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) and all of Eilat.
After breakfast on Shabbat, many of us went to sit on the beach.
Many thanks to Judith who organized the hike, Dan our guide, and all the drivers for getting us safely to Eilat and back.