Monday, July 4, 2016

DAY 14 - Camels, Lamb Chops, and Shabbat!

While writing my trip report, I've used the order that my pictures were taken to remind me what we had done and in what sequence. As I attempt to write about our 14th day, I'm at a loss on what we did first. Looking at the photo's of the Red Sea, my speculation is that Pamela, Darlene (our Texas friend) and I had walked there first... But I don't remember WHY...

The night before, Pamela and I had gotten a new roommate. A young Israeli woman with a scowl on her face. I didn't get the impression she was very happy having roommates, but I wondered what she had expected considering there were 8 beds in the room! She would smile to my face, but Pamela claimed she was given dirty looks behind my back.

Wearing earplugs, covering her head with a blanket, and sighing loudly throughout the night, our roommate gave us the impression she wished we'd disappear. So, creeping out of our beds early that morning as quietly as possible, I can only speculate we had gone to the park to check our emails and somehow or another found Darlene that morning and had joined her for a walk to the beach. We had unanimously agreed we wanted to go see camels together, so back up the hill we walked to hail a cab...

While looking for a cab, I was pleasantly surprised to see the car, in broad daylight!

This time we got to meet the owner and talk to him as we admired his masterpiece.

What a nice guy he was, and honest too! Darlene didn't realize she had dropped some money until he handed her a 20 Shekel note that she had dropped!

The camel ranch...

We had the choice to ride camels for an hour, eat lunch in the bedouin tent, or just take a 15 min ride...

I was glad we decided on 15 min. The ride was very uncomfortable, and holding on was very difficult.

But it was fun, and I now have a higher respect for desert nomads who depend on camels for their transportation!

Being off in the boonies, we had to walk to the main road to hail a cab... but the walk was very pleasant and we enjoyed the view.

We passed a Texas ghost town! It was built for a Texas Wild West movie, and they somehow thought the Negev mountains looked more western. How we wished that it was still open! We would have gotten a kick out of seeing them imitate us Texans!

Finding a cab on the main road we agreed to be dropped off by the promenade. Famished, we headed for the nearest restaurant.

We had lambchops, chicken, fries, pita, and some relishes and veggies. One thing I've noticed in the Middle East is that people eat a lot of fries! But the fries there are called, chips. In the beginning when we'd ask for "chips" (potato chips), we'd get fries. So now we know that potato chips are called, CRISPS. (While in a grocery store, we noticed a can of Prinkles in Hebrew that said, Potato CRISPS.)

Hanging around the piers, trying to decide if we wanted to take a cruise, but short on time. We had shabbat services that night.

A store nearby was offering the (Garra Rufa) fish pedicure. I had read about this in magazines and was always interested in how the fish ate dead skin. 15 min for 50 shekels. I came very close to getting me and Pamela one, but rereading the sign, we realized we'd need 30 min apiece to get the job done right, and that would set me back about 200 shekels! I'm sure the fish would have enjoyed their all-you-can-eat buffet though. All that walking gave us lots of yummy callouses!

We stopped for fresh fruit yogurt

Taking a small break at the hostel, we were saddened to see someone go. He was the person who had checked me in at the office when we first arrived from Cairo - heading back home to his home Holland.

I also got to say goodbye to Margaret. She's the English woman, who had made my Petra arrangements and had lingered to visit with me and Jeff. I will definitely miss her!

While at the hostel, I noticed we had two new roommates. They were both from Finland and very very nice! Our Israeli roommate visibly shuddered when she walked in the room and saw us all talking. We couldn't help but wonder why she was going through such a tough time.

Pamela and Darlene liked the idea of swimming until shabbat services that night. So back down the hill we went, wearing shorts, and carrying towels. We beachcombed and I walked to the promenade to get us snowcones.

Was taking a picture of the two guys doing a canoe standing up, but got this guy who walked in the picture. Thought it looked pretty neat. He also looks like Rob Lowe doesn't he?

Services were packed with the hostel guests, Sudanese refugees, and many people from
the surrounding neighborhood.

Services were done in Hebrew, English, German, and Arabic. It was quite amazing seeing how the hostel was reaching out to the community!

After services a meal is provided for everyone, compliments of the Shelter Hostel. I couldn't believe there was enough food for everyone!

Sudanese children serving the guests.

After everyone went home, it was us hostel guests who were left behind. We sat in the living area and visited until bedtime. Darlene would be leaving the next day, but had made arrangements to see the Aquarium first. Since we had already done that, Pamela and I were thinking of snorkeling.

We headed for our dorm and had planned to read, but realized all our roommates were in bed early with the lights out. We had no choice but to go to sleep too. I tried to read from my booklight, but couldn't get comfortable. The last time I slept in a dorm situation was when I was in Navy bootcamp. Never a problem sleeping then. Everyone was so tired, we'd pass out as soon as we hit our pillows.

I tossed and turned, kept drinking from the water bottle, coughed, and resigned myself to the fact that my roommates probably hated me by now. The next day would be our last in Israel. I couldn't believe we were getting close to the end of our trip!


The WoodLand School said...

I just love those camel-nose photos! That car is just amazing, too!

Patty said...

After all this fun stuff you have been blogging about it's going to be hard to top it!