After making our way to Arad on Thursday evening and getting settled in at the guest houses, we met for breakfast on Friday morning.
After breakfast we got in our cars and drove to the Nokdim Ranch on the road from Arad to Masada (route 3199). Most of the group waited there while the drivers drove the cars to the end of our hike at the entrance to Masada.
After the drivers returned, we started walking towards Upper Nachal Rachaf.
Along the way we saw a group of camels, including newborn calves, a herd of goats and sheep and a donkey, all belonging to Bedouins living in the area.
After a short walk we entered the canyon portion of Nachal Rachaf. We bypassed several dry waterfalls until reaching the large 60 meter waterfall. We had to climb out of the Wadi to bypass this waterfall. After stopping to admire the great view we started our descent back down to Nachal Rachaf. From the top we say the Nachal Rachaf’s other two canyons.
At the bottom of the descent we turned onto the red trail which would take us all the way to Masada.
The trail had its ups and downs, some of them quite steep.
After stopping for lunch and tea prepared by our guide, we continued towards Masada.
Our last ascent ended at the Roman wall that surrounds Masada. We saw Masada from the south, and then climbed down a very steep descent that ended up at the western entrance to Masada and our cars.
On Friday night we had a great dinner, organized by Craig and Judith.
On Shabbat we had a selection of city walks to go to, including a short walk through a wadi. Others walked to the Point led by Craig for a beautiful view of the desert and the hills. We also visited fiber artist/ceramacist Adena Ben-Ner's home/studio invited by Jane, and later had a medical massage short talk and demonstration by our 'baal bayit' Meir Weiss. Phyllis was turned into a human pretzel and Joel experienced the method, while Chana demonstrated that energy/tension can only go in one direction.
The dark night was a perfect opportunity for stargazing
Thanks to Judith and Craig for organizing a great weekend including all of the meals, and to Eshchar , our guide.