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

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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….

Dead Sea Odyssey 422 metres below sea level – 1: The snake trail at Massada

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My friend Magnus from Sweden who I work with and Marcel from the Netherlands who works for another Christian organisation in Jerusalem decided to spend a weekend on a trip, as Magnus was close to the end of his volunteer time in Israel.

Various different ideas were discussed on a biblical place to go, maybe Jericho (although didn’t manage to fully research safety and security in this place) or more of the Galilee. In the end we decided to check out the Dead Sea. I have been there twice before but not recently, but where as before I went up in a cable car, this time this would be a gruelling climb up the ‘snake trail’ at 3am, a zigzag path that goes right up to the top of the Masada fortress where a Jewish community once lived before tragically committing suicide after being hopelessly surrounded by the Roman army.  More information on Masada here.

After the shock of getting up at 3am to get there to see the sun rise and not have the intense midday heat when hiking up the path, this was definitely worth it I think 🙂

( 1 )( 2 )( 3 )( 4 ) – more soon….