Hiking in the Ramon Crater


It’s been a while since our last post, and a few things have happened.  First, we got some news from my work and we might be leaving Israel much sooner than expected.  We are still not exactly sure when, the ball park date is sometime late spring or early summer, but that can change any second.  I have mixed emotions about this news, mostly due to many big decisions we will be making.  For example, where will we live, what will we do, and gasp…what will happen to the blog?  We would be making these decisions anyway, but we did not expect to be making them so soon.  I am not going to lie, I am quite excited about going back, but the uncertainty of the situation is driving me a bit crazy.  I like any other normal human being love routine.  Routine is comfortable, change even if for the best is scary.  Needless to say, this has caused a few nights of restless sleep and when I am tired, I am grumpy.  I have not been in the best of moods lately, but I am snapping out of it.

Yesterday, we went for a hike in the Ramon Crater.  It is a huge crater in the Negev Desert that was carved out over millions of years by rivers.  It is basically a huge valley carved by erosion.  The crater 40 km long and 2 to 10 km wide, and in the shape of the heart.  Due to the huge size of the crater, it really does not look like one.   If you ask me, I like the Small Crater much better because I really felt like I was inside of a crater.  Since, Ramon Crater is so huge, it just felt like being anywhere in the Negev.  However, the geology was quite impressive and different with different color sand and rock formations and even an ancient volcano in the middle of the crater.  Due to my bad mood, I did not enjoy it as much as I should have, I feel bad now.

Here are a few pictures of the hike:

More dog pictures because I can’t force anyone else to pose.  This trip Dave was in charge of Chaya  and I was in charge of the camera.  It was overcast all day, but I think it made the colors stand out more.

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A hike in Ein Gedi

While missiles were landing in Kiryat Gat, Rita, Jon, Carrie, and I were enjoying a nice hike at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve.  I guess we chose a good day for a hike.

Ein Gedi is a desert oasis close to the shores of the Dead Sea.   There are a lot of hiking options in the area and we chose one of the tougher routes that had a estimated trip time of 6-8 hours and went from an elevation of approximately 300 meters below sea level to the 400 meter high cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea.  We reached the top of the cliff in under an hour and we stopped for a 15 minute snack.  We headed down a different route which was very steep and soon we arrived at Nahal Arugot (River).  The river was very lush and blooming with trees and vegetation – very weird to see this in the middle of the desert.  There was a nice waterfall along the river and we stopped by and had lunch.  After the waterfall it was a short hike to the car.  The total trip took us about 4 hours with breaks and about 3 hours of hiking time.   

I have posted a few pictures below, if you would like more you can our albums:

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Posted in Hiking in Israel | 2 Comments

And life goes on

Well, I actually wrote a draft of a political post.  After I read the draft again, I realized that it sounds just like David’s post.  So, I think mine is going to remain unpublished.  Since David and I talk about this conflict A LOT, maybe too much, we pretty much agree on every subject.  Man, I never thought David would get so passionate about it, you should hear him!  I totally understand him, stupid people are annoying.  Unfortunately, stupid is unfixable and I can only hope that natural selection will take care of that.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a quick post and say that we are ok.  Since the Israeli military moved into Gaza, the amount of rockets Hamas has been launching has decreased significantly.  From over one hundred at the beginning of the conflict to less than 10 now.  I did get the “pleasure” of hearing the rocket alarm yesterday, but it’s the only one I’ve heard for the 5 days since I have been back to Israel.  We proceeded to the bomb room aka dog room (that’s were the dog dishes and food are).  Chaya, of course thought we were all gathering together for feeding and was licking her bowl the whole time.  The rockets ended up hitting pretty far from us in the field.

Are we crazy?  Why the heck do we not get out?  Well, if you think about it, the chances of getting hit by a rocket are so slim.   My very rough calculation is maybe 1 in 2 million?  Plus, although we do live within the rocket range, Hamas tries to target more populated cities such are Ashkelon and Ashdod.  Bottom line is this, please don’t be worried.  We are fine.

Besides the rocket excitement, not much is going on.  I am back to work and back to my normal routine.  I am also pleased to announce that I somehow managed to not be jet lagged.  On the contrary, first 2 nights back, I have slept for about 13 hours each, which is a record for me.  I am not a sleeper.  Perhaps, those 3 days around my brother rubbed off on me.  Love you too, bro!

Hopefully, this weekend will involve something more than sleeping.

For now, here is Chaya with her new toy.  What can I say, she’s a war dog, she’s been mostly playing with sticks and stones, so she’s really enjoying her new toys.  Although like any other respectable dog, she already chewed out the eyes and the nose. 

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Nap time

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Flowers that were waiting for me when I got back, sorry I have to show off.  I am pretty sure that it was a way to distract me from the fact that German Shepherd DOG is still on our porch.

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Posted in Life in Israel | 2 Comments

I’m baaackk!

I am finally back in Israel.  I flew in last night and let me tell you…again…it is a damn long flight.  It was extra long this time because I was sitting next to an Orthodox Jewish couple, and they pretended that I did not exist.  On the way from Denver to New Jersey, I sat next to a firefighter from New York, who was there on 9/11.  He comes from a family of 12 kids and lost a brother and a sister in 9/11 attack.  We talked the whole way and the time flew.  We talked politics, Israel, family and agreed on every subject.

Anyway, it’s nice to be back.  The US is nice, but home is home.  Israel is now home, or I guess the closest thing to home for me.  Hopefully, I will not be jet lagged for too long.  I slept for 12 hours last night!

Well, things are pretty much the same in Israel as they were when I left.  By saying the same, I mean where we live, I am fully aware of the war going on down the street.  Aside from Dave going: “did you hear that?”, nothing has changed.  Yeah, we can hear explosions outside, but they are not too loud.  If Dave didn’t point them out, I don’t think I would hear them.  For those of you wondering how far we are from Gaza, we are about 10 miles.  10 miles!?!  I can’t believe it myself.  We are so damn close, but the crazy thing is if I never turned on the TV, I would never know something is wrong.  Life is as normal.  Don’t worry about us though, I am pretty sure no one is too interested in throwing rockets at our lovely moshav.  Chances of a rocket landing on our house are so so so low.  Probably better chances of winning the lottery.  Besides turkeys and fields there is not much here.  I think the terrorists are more interested in more  populated cities.

Chaya has gotten bigger.  She now weighs more than Waldo.  She’s quite “beefy” or stocky.  She has also matured quite a bit, she’s less interested in poop, but still very interested in anything edible (which for her is pretty much anything – onion peel, cucumber skin, etc.).  

I did stop by Colorado for 3 days on the way back to Israel to see my family.  I miss them terribly now, 3 days was not nearly enough.  The first few days away are the hardest.  Although seeing, Dave for the first time in 3 weeks is pretty exciting too.  I did some hiking in AZ on my days off and I am going to post some pictures of that.

Hiking in Sonoma, AZ with Matt, Tracy and Casey.  I got attacked by a cactus and never made it to the top.  I got about 30 needles in my leg…no idea how, but it did not feel good.

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Hiking Flatiron mountain outside of Phoenix, no cactus attack this time:

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And some pictures, I took to show Dave how nice Chandler is, when it’s not 120 degrees outside.  I took the camera jogging with me.

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Posted in Life in Israel | 3 Comments

Disproportionate use of force (Updated)

Disproportionate use of force

With the ongoing operation in Gaza, Israel has recently come under pressure from the international community in regards to what leaders and the media are saying is “disproportionate” use of force.  With the death toll in Gaza rising to over 400 with just 4 dead in Israel – on the surface these claims seem justified.  So the question remains – is the death toll the only factor in determining whether Israel is using “disproportionate” force?

What about the past several years of rocket fire?

For the past several years residents of southern Israel have had to endure almost daily rocket fire and mortar attacks.  I have heard some estimates that over 10,000 rockets have been fired into Israel in the last 10 years.  Wikipedia states there have been 3,050 Qassam rocket attacks and 2,500 mortar attacks, leaving 23 Israelis dead and another 433 injured.  Israel has retaliated for some of these attacks but not rocket for rocket.  Couldn’t one argue that the rocket fire from Gaza has been “disproportionate” for several years and that Israel is making up for this with operation “cast lead”?  In my opinion Israel has exercised remarkable restraint.  I cannot think of one country in the world that would allow their citizens to be exposed to daily rocket fire, without completely destroying those responsible.

Has everyone forgotten about the importance of intent?

Thankfully the great majority of the missiles and mortars fired from Gaza miss their mark.  But is that the intention of Hamas?  Do they want to see the missiles fired from Gaza land in empty fields and uninhabited buildings?  My guess is they don’t and that their goal in launching these missiles is to kill as many Israelis and inflict as much damage as possible.  But in case you don’t believe me, what do the actions and words of Hamas reveal?

Recently, with the ground invasion underway Hamas has shown their intent by continuing to target Israeli civilians even with military targets in Gaza and within reach.  Hamas also established their intent by sending text messages to Israeli citizens in southern towns.  What did the message say?   “Rockets on all cities, shelters not protect, Qassam rocket, Hamas.” – article on ynet.  I think their intent is clear.

What about Israel – what is their intent?  Israel’s intent is to stop the missile attacks, which means killing as many Hamas terrorists as possible.  Unfortunately, doing this without killing civilians is extremely difficult in one of the most densely populated areas in the world.  What does Israel do to try to minimize civilian casualties?   They have dropped thousands of pamphlets, shot false missiles, and even made phone calls to notify civilians of upcoming attacks: article on Haaretz.  If you don’t believe me and you don’t believe the articles, lets look at the death count.  Israel has some of the most advanced and deadly weapons on earth in its arsenal.  If they were truly targeting civilians wouldn’t the death count be higher than 400?

If we look at intentions things are clearly “disproportionate”.  The intentions of Hamas are to target and kill as many civilians as possible, and they have made their intentions clear.  Israel’s intentions are to reduce civilian casualties, they have also made their intentions clear.

What does International Law actually say about all of this?

It turns out that the media and many world leaders use of the term “proportional” is incorrect according to International law.  Not only does International law disregard death tolls and statistics it also does not require one side to calibrate the force it uses according to the damage the weaponry used against it inflicts.

“Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives,[1] even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) (Article 8(2)(b)(i)) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality) (Article 8(2)(b)(iv). Article 8(2)(b)(iv) criminalizes:” – wikipedia

From this definition it is difficult to determine whether or not Israel is violating International law.  We would need information on all of the targets hit by the Israeli military and an assessment of the military value verse the civilian loss.  What is clear from this definition is that intentions matter.  Any time an attack is intentionally directed at civilians a war crime has been committed.  The great majority of the attacks committed by Hamas fall into this category and regardless of the damage they cause it is safe to say they have grossly and repeatedly violated International law for many, many years.

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Everything is still ok

It is a rainy day in Israel and everything is still ok here on the moshav.  The missile attacks from Gaza are ongoing and several areas in Beer Sheba have been hit – but there have been no deaths.  This represents the first ever missile attacks on Beer Sheba which is one of the highest population centers in southern Israel and I assume a major target for Hamas.  This morning there was a report that Kiryat Gat was targeted and missiles hit outside of the city – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3647765,00.html.

Despite this things are relatively quite on our moshav.  There is a small school that has been closed for the past few days.  But overall life is going on as normal, I went to the market, the garbage men just pulled up to pick up the trash – business as usual.  The Israeli Home Front command has provided the following instructions for our area:

“Residents of towns within the 20 to 30 kilometer range from Gaza Strip, including Ashdod, Ofakim, Kiryat Mal’achi, Kiryat Gat, Rahat and the towns around them – should enter protective spaces within 45 seconds.
In these areas gatherings can take place for up to 500 people and only under a hard (concrete) roof. Schools and shopping centers will operate in solid (concrete) structures only.”

I found out yesterday that our moshav is equipped with the early warning system and that the system did sound an alarm on Saturday.  I however mistook the sound for emergency vehicles and did not take cover in the bomb room (Israelis call it the MAMAD).  Next time I know.

There are basically two types of missiles fired from Gaza.  The first type is the Qassam and this rocket has a max range of around 10 kilometers – which puts us out of range.  The second type is the Grad which has a bit over double the range.  These rockets tend to be used for the larger targets and I don’t think our moshav is one of them.

I found a few videos on youtube of what these attacks look like so everyone can get some idea on how much damage they cause.  When watching these videos keep in mind that the people within range have been dealing with this type of terror for several years.  There have been over 3000 rockets fired from Gaza during this time – with this in mind I think Israel has exercised incredible restraint (Click here for a listing of some of the strikes listed on wikipedia).  The first shows a direct hit in Ashkelon (not sure how these people got this footage):

The second does not actual show the impact but gives you an idea of how loud it is, at the beginning of the video you can hear the sirens and then several impacts a few in the distance and one – a near miss:

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Howdy from Sunny Arizona

Well, I have been in the US for about a week now.  I thought I would be blogging all the time because I would be bored in my hotel room.   Thankfully, that has not been the case at all.  It has been very hard for me to be away from David, especially with the situation in Israel.  Am I worried?  Yes, I am, but only because I am not there.  If I was in Israel now, I am pretty sure that I would not be worried at all.  When you are in Israel, you realize that life goes on as normal, and nothing really special is going on.  Just normal things, running, work, dogs.  Plus, I do have special super woman powers, that keeps anything bad from happening.  However, being away makes it hard, the super powers get a little weaker.  I also realize that the chances of a rocket landing on our roof are miniscule.  I think we have better chances of winning the lottery.  Let me put things in prospective for you and myself.  Hundreds of rockets were shot into Israel and only killed 2 people. The guy in the US who went crazy over his divorce, dressed as Santa and went over to his ex in-laws Christmas party killed 8.  Plus, watching the Phoenix local news definitely makes me realize that you are no safer in the US than you are in Israel.  Really, you are not.  The thing is the NEWS.  The news exaggerates, and of course makes it sound that Israel is about to be wiped from the face of the earth.  Well, it’s not.  That’s very far from the truth.  We will be ok, David will be ok, and Israel will be ok.  I truly believe it.

Meanwhile, I have been thoroughly enjoying the US.  I have not had too much time because of work, but the US is great.  We should all be very proud of being American and living in such a great and CLEAN country, that is not to say that I do not miss Israel.  I miss Israel more than I ever thought I would.

Posted in Other Travels | 1 Comment

Recent Events – Israel (Operation in Gaza)

By this point I am sure all of our readers have heard about the current situation in southern Israel and Gaza.  It is now the third day of an Israeli operation which to this point has been an aerial assault on Gaza.  So what is going on, where are we in relation to the action, and how has it affected us?

What is going on in a nutshell?

Up until 2005 Israel occupied the Gaza Strip.  A military presence existed in the strip and numerous Israeli settlers lived there.   In 2004 a plan to pull out of Gaza proposed by Ariel Sharon (former Israeli Prime Minister) was accepted by the Israeli government.  Israeli settlers were forced to leave their homes and on September 15th, 2005 all Israeli presence was gone from Gaza.  Israel had hoped this would bring more peace but it actually brought about increased rocket fire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Qasam_graph2002-2007.svg).  Around a year after Israel pulled out of Gaza the Palestinian people elected Hamas (a known terrorist organization). 

When Rita and I first moved to Israel the Gaza Strip which is controlled by Hamas would regularly send missiles into Israel.  These missiles are very primitive and inaccurate and can only enter a limited area in Israel – AKA the red zone.  A favorite target of Hamas has been Ashkelon as it is the largest city close to Gaza – only about 12 kilometers away.

About 6 months ago Israel entered into a cease fire agreement with Hamas and the Gaza Strip.  During this time things were relatively quiet and both sides basically observed the agreement (violations were committed on both sides, but good enough for the middle-east).  This past week the cease fire expired and Hamas began bombarding southern Israel and the Negev (desert east of Gaza) with rocket fire.  I have seen media report from the US that dozens of rockets have been fired, the actual number has been hundreds!  Several Israelis have been wounded and a few have been killed by these attacks. Israel repeatedly warned Hamas to discontinue the attacks and after numerous warnings were ignored, launched an aerial bombing campaign in Gaza, targeting Hamas facilities.  So far Israel has not sent ground troops into Gaza, but that could change any minute.

Where are we in relation to all of this action?

Our moshav is approximately 15 miles east-north-east of Gaza.  We are basically in the red-zone but a missile strike here would be very rare.  On Saturday Intel’s plant in Kiryat Gat sounded alarms for their employees to take cover.  There was also a report that a missile struck Kiryat Gat, for the first time – EVER.  This report later proved to be incorrect, so to everyone I forwarded it to – I apologize for the false alarm.

Our moshav is also over a flight path to Gaza.  Usually there is a lot of helicopter activity but recently that has declined and there has been an increase in jet activity.  As I am writing this I hear several F-16’s overhead.  I am usually outside a lot with the dogs and I have heard what I believe to be distant explosions – I guess at just 15 miles away it is likely they are from Gaza – but I am not sure.

Early Alert System

Most of the cities in the red-zone have an early alert system which detects incoming missiles and sounds an alert.  Once the alert has sounded you have around 30 seconds to take cover.  All homes built after the first Gulf War are required to have a safe room.  I am not sure of the exact specifics of this room but it has very thick walls and supposedly can withstand a pretty decent blast.

A trip to Ashkelon – Postponed

Over the past few days the early alert system has been sounding very frequently in Ashkelon.  Yesterday I was supposed to visit our friend Yonnie in Ashkelon.  The plan was to get our dogs together and take them to the beach.  Chaya hasn’t seen the sea so I thought it would be interesting.  I called Yonnie at 10 and he said the alarm had already sounded three times that morning and that it probably wasn’t the best day to go to the beach.  Maybe next time, when the missiles aren’t flying.

Don’t be worried

As I previously mentioned these missiles are extremely inaccurate and do no create a huge amount of damage.  Not only do we live on the edge of their range but we live in an area that is not heavily populated.  Our moshav is quite simply not an attractive target and there is many more populated areas where Hamas can point their missiles.  The likelihood of a missile striking our moshav is extremely minimal.

If you want to stay current on the situation, Ynet news is a great source:

http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

Some pictures:

Jon sent these pictures to me.  They were taken on the roof of one of his co-workers family who lives very close to Gaza.  These pictures are looking into Gaza after some of the Israeli air strikes.

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Full cavity search aka Israeli airport security

First thing I want to mention is that 12 hour flights are very painful, especially when you can’t sleep.  Oh, but it doesn’t end at 12, 12 is only Tel-Aviv to Newark and I have another 6 from Newark to Phoenix, I hope I will sleep on that one.  However, Continental upgraded their entertainment system and it’s absolutely awesome.  Over 300 movies, shows, games and the latest music.  Takes the edge of a little, but still it’s incredibly hard to be sitting for that long.  Now, all they have to do is upgrade the food selection because the food is absolutely atrocious.  By the way, I have 3 hours and 46 minutes left.  I kind of wish that I wouldn’t see that damn time monitor because I keep looking at it every minute.  I can only imagine now long the flight back will take because at that point I would not have seen David for 3 weeks!

Ok enough rambling, what I really wanted to talk about is security at the Israeli airport.  It’s actually very impressive.  I guess it really must be because I am sure there are many people out there who would love to cause some damage.  First, you go through security just to enter the airport premises.  Second, there is a representative who talks to every person individually about who you are, why you came to Israel, how long you stayed, etc etc.  I know Israel is a small country and something like that would be virtually impossible to do in the US, but I think it’s the most effect security procedure.  The people who question you go through some serious training and really know what suspicious behavior to watch for.  Third, the bag checking procedure is pretty cool and the technology is way ahead of the US.  Basically, they take a picture of everything in your bag and if something suspicious is seen, the security personnel gets a photo of what’s inside on a computer monitor.  It’s kind of hard to explain, so just trust me.  This is for all checked in baggage, carry on gets an additional scan.

Also, El Al and Israir (Israeli airlines), travel with their own security personnel.  Both of those airlines are considered the safest in the world.  They do not trust other airports to do a thorough job.  When we flew back from Rome, we had to go though a different terminal to go though the El Al screening.  Basically, they will not let anyone get on the plane without being questioned.  Also, El Al has bomb proof baggage compartments and anti-missile defense on their planes.  Do you feel safe yet?  I guess having the need to have all that makes me a little nervous.

Finally, there is no stupid liquid and gel rule.  Did I mention how many times in the US I have by accident gone through the security check with liquids and gels?  In my humble opinion, those checks are inefficient and pointless.  As a cherry on top, you also get to keep your shoes on!

Israelis also profile.  I know that many of you will disagree with me on that and you are more than welcome to your opinion.  But you know what, I think they profile because it works?  Call me crazy, but I think the chances of an 80 year old grandma smuggling an explosive onto an airplane are pretty slim.  I know there is still a chance, but it is slim and you should go for the more obvious choice.  Sweet, only 3 hours left!

Airport security is one thing we can definitely take some notes on from the Israeli’s.  I am pretty sure that a couple of times I could have walked through the US airport security having a male ID.

Posted in Life in Israel | 3 Comments

Exploring the Negev…again – Aqrabbim’s Ascent

Last weekend, we went for another hike down in the Negev Desert.  When we did the hike in the Small Makhtesh, 2 weeks ago, we made a mental note of some of the trail heads we saw.  So this past weekend, we came back to explore.  As I previously mentioned, this is the only time of the year to explore the desert, so we are trying to take some advantage of the “winter” weather.  We started our hike going up a trail called the Aqrabbim Ascent.  Aqrabbim Ascent means Scorpion Ascent, due to the abundance of scorpions in the area.  Good thing, I did not know that at the time of the hike.  Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Aqrabbim Ascent is actually a biblical place and is mentioned 3 times in the bible.  It is part of the ancient route connecting the Arava area with the Negev Hills.  This area was mentioned to Moses by God as the southern border of where Jews should settle.  Later, the Romans took over the area, and you can still see the staircases carved by the Romans on the trails.  It was very neat to hike on a trail that was built some two thousand years ago.

As we made our way up, Aqrabbim Ascent, we met 2 Israeli guys that had a trail map of the area.  We decided to make a loop instead of coming back the same way down.  We made our way back on a trail that goes through Wadi Gov or Stream Gov.  Little did we know, that the trail was not very dog friendly, with lots of ladders and drops.  Waldo is fearless, seriously, this dog will jump down a 6 foot cliff without even stopping to think about it.  Chaya, on the other hand is not so stupid brave.  I am just glad Jon was with us to help Dave lift Chaya, it would not have worked out so well, if it was just Dave and I.

Again, the geology of the area was very different than anything I have seen before.  I expected the desert to be dull and boring.  However, that is not the case at all.  Of course, the pictures did not come out as cool as it was.  Last time, I talked to my mom, she said it all looks like a pile of rocks.  Believe me though, the colors, the rock formations, and the plants are truly amazing.  The only draw back of the hike?  About 20 minutes before finishing the hike, I got demolished by mosquitos.  I don’t know why and where they all the sudden came from, but I was covered in bites.  Did I mention I am allergic and the bites swell up about the size of a small volcano?

Directions:

If you are interested in trying this hike out for yourself it is very easy to find:

1) Coming from the North you will head south on 40 to Beer Sheva.  Before Beer Sheva take a left at the light to continue on 40, this turn is not necessary but will route you outside of the Beer Sheva downtown and save you time.  Follow the signs for Dimona and take 25 east to Dimona.  Drive through Dimona and take a right (head south on 90).  Take a right on 227 (sign for Aqqrabim Ascent).  Continue to follow the signs for the Aqrabbim Ascent.  Park at the base of the mountain (not sure how well this is signed).  The Aqqrabim Ascent is the blue trail that heads off to the left. 

2) Take the Aqrabbim Ascent several kilometers to an old Roman Structure (passing the black trail – this is a nice place to stop for lunch.  After lunch head back down to the black trail.  Take the black trail to the green trail – go right (descend) at the green trail.  At this point there is a steep face that you will need to descend and the majority of the rest of the hike is through a narrow gorge.  Take the green trail back to the Aqqrabim Ascent (blue trail).

3) Estimated total trip time at a good pace: 5-6 hours, elevation gain – approximately 1200 feet, distance – approximately 12km.

CAUTION:

Keep your eye on the weather.  The bottom portion (green trail) is NOT the place you want to be stuck in a rain storm.  The narrow gorge would quickly fill with water and people have lost their lives hiking in this area.

Enjoy some of the pictures.  I am off to go packing, and my next post will be from US!

“I am cute, and I know it”

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“What seems to be taking you guys so long?”

What is taking so long

“I laugh in the face of fear”

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We learned Chaya can swim, after all…

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Operation code name “Puppaya”

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We defy gravity

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Ok, I’m done commenting

 

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