Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Desert Odyssey

This weekend we went for a big trip into the desert with Purple's family, in honour of his mother's 75th birthday.

Personally, I'm not really into the desert; it's very hot, and very dry, and dusty. We walk around for ages to look at interesting rocks, that mostly look just like the rocks we have here, except that Moses once stubbed his toes on the desert rocks.04 tree climbing

So, it was eighteen people, driving in a convoy of four cars - for some reason they refuse to tell us exactly where we are going; we have to drive in a convoy, and about a hundred cell phone calls flash back and forth between the various cars during the course of a 3 hour drive.

We stopped a few places on the way; at one Moshav where we looked at the locked doors of the Cochin Jewish Museum, and had a picnic, while the kids climbed trees.

And not just the kids: 08 tree climbing  Booki

We stayed the night at a Bedouin guest house, which was very cool - we all slept on the floor in a huge Bedouin tent. Oh how I would have traded my first born for a mosquito net that night!

Anyway it was a nice place, and we had a big Bedouin-style feast for Shabat dinner. Though sadly, they were keeping Kosher for us, so it was served with Matzoh, rather than wonderful Bedouin pita.

So, here's the tent:

13 bedouin tent

And our feast:20 bedouin mealThe next day we drove into the desert 4 hours, the group divided into 3 4WDs, to get to Mount Karkum to see the rock paintings. On the drive we saw lots of wildlife; some Zvi (a kind of deer) and a cool lizard.

For me and Littletree, driving hours out into the desert, only to climb up a rocky mountain in the middle of the noonday heat just to look at rocks 28 firing rangeisn't really such a great time, but on the way, we drove through a firing range (a common-place occurrence in Israel), which was pretty interesting for us.

Littletree was fascinated to see all the missile cases and blown-up wreckage littering the desert, and it led to lots of discussions about war and Israel and such. Long-time readers might remember previous discussions about that, which is the real reason we don't live in Israel.

27 firing range

In the end, it was too hot, and Littletree didn't want to climb up the mountain. 43 rock painting So after we walked around a bit, looking at interesting rocks, I sat with Littletree and some of the younger children in the shade while everyone else climbed up to look at the rock paintings. Purple took some photos:

Then I managed to sprain my ankle, tripping on a rock, en route to the aid of my nephew, who banged his head really badly by standing up under the open car door. It was quite a slapstick moment.

Finally, we climbed back into our cars and drove home. In a few days we leave Israel for Bangkok, and on to China for the World Rainbow Gathering


  1. wow, the tent looks really neat. I love the pic of the family feasting while sitting on the ground-it just seems more relaxed and inviting. The world rainbow gathering sounds great. I have never been to a rainbow gathering but always wanted to. We are hoping to make it to the gathering this July in Wyoming. Hope your ankle is doing better :-)

  2. Looks like a destitute place.
    But at least the grandmother had a nice time. I bet you miss your green forrest? Majikfaerie.
    Godspeed on your travels.

  3. WHOA. Sometimes I envy you guys so much! Traveling the world, seeing places like this. I wanna do something like that! But I'm such an american sissy [I think that might be my new motto] that I can't survive without my shower everyday. And somehow, I get the feeling that you can't really be picky about bathing while traveling like this. Oh well. I still wanna do something like this! It might help me get over my american sissiness!

  4. Stella, beleive it or not, people have showers, even outside the US. :P
    in all my travels, I rarely had to go more than a day without a shower.

  5. Really? Even in huge desserts like that? They have SHOWERS?! My future is looking up! Yay!

  6. All the spirit orbs in that picture inside the tent! WOW. I'm so glad for all that you and Littletree get to experience. Sorry about your ankle though, what a bummer!


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)