On the way to Eilat a group of us met at the hotel area near the Dead Sea.
Our first hike was in Nachal Bokek. This stream runs all year round, so we had to walk through water. At the end of the trail, we climbed up towards Maale Bokek (Bokek Ascent), and then down to the road.
After this hike we sat on the beach at the Dead Sea for some refreshments.
We met some more members of the group, parked our cars at the gas station near the Arava Junction, and walked on the road towards Nachal Tzafit. We Started at the lower end of Nachal Tzafit, and climbed up, some times using handholds. At the first intersection we took the Tzafit Tamar connecting trail towards Nachal Tamar where we climbed down Nachal Tamar using more handholds and ladders. We were promised a rope, but it had been replaced by metal handholds. We were all very disappointed. After a short walk back to the cars, we continued our drive to Eilat.
After checking in, we went to dinner at Il Pentolino in down town Eilat. It was OK.
On Friday morning we took a bus towards the beginning of the hike. After picking up our guide, we were delayed at the exit from Eilat by the Israman bicyclers.
The bus dropped us of near the Eilat seismological station. We started walking up, stopping at various places to look at the rocks, plants and views. Our route took us from Igneous rock formations, to land sedimentary formations (sand stone) to sea sedimentary formations (lime stone). The colors were lovely, going from black to read, pink and purple, with a bit of yellow and white thrown in.
We had some steep ascents, but at the highest peek we reached we had a great view of the Edom mountains, the golf of Eilat and probably even Sinai. If the visibility had been better we could have probably seen Saudi Arabia.
Since if you go up, you must come down, we walked down towards the Amram Pillars. It was steep at times, a very narrow path at others, but we all made it down in one piece. After visiting the Amram Pillars we got on the bus and drove back to the field school.
Shabbat was spent relaxing, some at the beach, and some at the field school.
Many thanks to Havi for organizing the weekend, and to Ron, our guide for a great hike.
Gadi's picture from Nachal Bokek, Nachal Tzafit, Friday Hike