Dead Sea Odyssey 422 metres below sea level – 2: The lowest camp site on earth…

( 1 )( 2 )( 3 )( 4 ) – more soon….

In my characteristically quirky random way of doing things, I didn’t mention what we did before going to Masada.

Marcel, Magnus and myself stocked up with food and supplies at a Talpiyot supermarket for camping expedition in Marcel’s work’s Fiat Doblo van.

The camp site we stayed at was pretty good in terms of location.   The toilets were nasty to say the least, the camp site itself was free but the toilets required some coins put into a turnstile gate, but this was not working, probably as no one was taking care of any cleaning or maintenance.

When choosing a place to put our tent, some of the other people were a bit noisy, there were several cars playing Arab music rather loud, we had to get to sleep early as we planned to get up at 3am (!) to walk up Masada to see the sun rise over the Dead Sea.

So we pitched the tent closeish to the beach.  This just required a scrape around of any big stones to get the ground as flat as possible for sleeping on.

The tent is borrowed of Marcel’s Swiss work colleague, it took us three attempts to put it up as its quite unusual in design and took several goes at trying to work out if the sticks go on the inside or outside…

Another problem we hit was the ground was too hard to get the pegs in.  After bashing them with a big rock and bending them in the process, a better idea was just to tie the guy ropes to some bottles of water.  It was quite windy, so keeping the tent upright was best achieved with at least two of us in the tent at once. 🙂

Something hit me when it got dark…  This is the lowest place on earth, this is the lowest camp site on earth, AND, our tent is lower than everyone else’s.   Therefore we spent the night in the lowest tent in THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!  YEAH!!!!

( 1 )( 2 )( 3 )( 4 ) – more soon….

strange back/chest ache and visit to the doctors

Thanks for people who prayed for me as of late.   The illness I has this week was a strange one.

I had pain in my back not on my spine but on the muscles below my right shoulder blade.   This seem to also hurt on my right hand side and then onto my right chest.  In addition this I had some spots and a rash as well, this wasn’t too noticeable as I have acne on and off for a while.

I had various ideas.   Was it sleeping in a funny position, problems with my bed not giving me the right posture?  Allergy to a new brand of deodorant?  Bugs in my room? (I often get mosquitoes in my flat and a friend got bitten by a poisonous spider last week)

Last weekend I went to Christchurch congregation to their morning service, (just inside Jaffa Gate, in Jerusalem’s old city walls) the service was ok but the audio system was less than satisfactory so I didn’t really get a lot of the word that was spoken, but in addition to that, there are old style pews which really didn’t help my back at all.

I left it until the middle of this week and eventually visited a doctor at a clinic in Diskin Street which is in a Ultra Orthodox area and got a quickie appointment the same day at 5.45pm.   When the doc saw my back and chest it only took about 5 seconds of diagnosis for him to tell me that I have Shingles.

Seems this illness stems from Chicken pox, and like most kids, I spent a lot of August 1988 with this contagious rash which meant I couldn’t go on a church camp and generally meant I had a mostly miserable summer not being able to go out anywhere.  But as my South African GP told me, traces of this hide in your spine so a specific ‘stripe’ of your body gets this, I don’t have that many spots but it is very painful with my muscules hurting quite a bit.  This has made part of my chest ‘twinge’ a bit which is worrying although not near my heart or my left hand side which is good.

Something I take for granted, is prescription medicine we have in the UK.  Now I don’t know what this is like to regular Israeli families, but as a foreigner I have to pay for treatment of course and use my health insurance to claim for this later.  To get any drugs following a consultation with a GP at home I think costs a fixed amount of £6-7 or so.   Here my medication I got which I have to take five times a day, cost me 389 Shekels as well 400 Shekels for 15 minutes with the doctor.  In total this has been about £133, so really pray these pills do the trick and I can get better soon….

Apostle Paul on twitter

Was thinking the other day, about Twitter the hugely popular way of making a commentary of life events, things in the media and often how celebrities get followed and current news events get shown.  I was perhaps a bit mean with my earlier writings thinking it was a bit naff, but lately I was thinking about someone who told me that maybe the Apostle Paul in the bible was the world’s first blogger, so imagine in Paul was on Twitter too, it would be interesting to see as one of the first followers of Jesus who brought Christianity to the gentiles, travelled around various corners of the Mediterranean and got put in prison a few times, how his tweets would of looked like….

SaulOfTarsius I’m outside the Sanhedrin with my fellow Pharisees.  Today we are stoning some guy called Stephen.  #MyBenjaminTribe #MyRomanHomies

Feel the urge that I need to do some writing for some reason.
sent via Papyrus

SaulOfTarsius Sorry not been online for a while, crazy week.  Only just got my eyesight back

SaulOfTarsius Had serious meeting with the boss.  Put me straight about some things.  #Salvation #FoundMoshiach

SaulOfTarsius Thanks everyone in coming to my baptism, it was a nice day

SaulOfTarsius PS YHWH told me to change my name from Saul to Paul.

SaulOfTarsius @Ananias, thanks for relaying what I needed to hear.

SaulOfTarsius Follow my new active account at @ApostlePaul

ApostlePaul Now in Damacsus.  Had some help to get there whilst my sight returned #Damasq #Asyria

ApostlePaul Praying with my new friends @SimonPeter and @James #Apostles

ApostlePaul Writing a book, I am going to call it Acts. Got a feeling, it will be one of many.

ApostlePaul Oyvavoy… Has it been ten years I have been speaking the good news in Damascus now?
via carrier pigeon

ApostlePaul @Barnabus thanks for the invite to Shabbat, look forward to helping your congregation in Tarsius.  #Tarsius #Nicetobehome

ApostlePaul Went and rebuked Elymas the sorcerer whilst staying Cyprus.  Also got a Roman soldier following Christ.  #Paphos #Κύπρος #Cyprus

ApostlePaul Leaving Cyprus to go on a mission trip to Asia Minor tomorrow, looking forward to it. #AsiaMinor

ApostlePaul Was a pleasure to stay with you #Lydia G-d bless.

ApostlePaul Myself and @Barnabus are off to Jerusalem meet new Christians #Judea #ישראל

ApostlePaul Spending 18 months working in Corinth with @Silas and @Timothy #Κόρινθος #Greece plan to see Ephesus some point soon.
via Greek post office AD52

ApostlePaul In Jerusalem in prison.  At least I escaped from being killed in the temple.   #depressed #WhatAboutRightsOfRomanCitizens #CaesareaJail

ApostlePaul said to the soldier today ‘is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?’ I’ll put that in Acts 22.

ApostlePaul Out of Jail.  Roman bureaucracy takes a long time, its only taken 18 months.. But Governor Felix has let me out today.

ApostlePaul Off to Malta.  The Lord told me this ship really isn’t safe and I dont like the look of those clouds, or how choppy the sea is. 😦

ApostlePaul Ship got wrecked.  Oh well, Maltese people offer unusual kindness though. #Malta

Please note, biblical extracts are very approximate and locations are probably not in chronological order.