Monday, July 4, 2016

DAY 6 - Red Sea and the Homeless Man

The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of vanilla yogurt, cherry nectar juice, and apple cake. The night before while walking up the hill, we'd stopped in a small convenience store and purchased some groceries. After we ate, we headed to the park to check our emails.
It was after midnight back at home but we spied a few family members still logged onto Facebook! Such a small world we live in! =)
While sitting at the park bench, we noticed an elderly man lying on a blanket by a tree. He was wearing a dusty black suit, tennis shoes, and his suit jacket was drapped over a branch. A small paper bag rested by his side.

Returning to our room, we packed and turned in our room key. We were now moving into the dorm for the first round of our stay in Eilat. Two girls were packing to move out, so Pamela and I now had the room to ourselves. Our room had 4 sets of bunkbeds and its own bathroom and shower. Pamela and I grabbed two of the bottom bunks, while I sorted through the remainder of our clothes that needed washing.

A friend we met from South Africa took this picture and said I could use this for my blog. To the left you can make out a sink with mirror. This is where I hand washed our clothes for the remainder of our trip! In order to keep up with everything, I handwashed every single day, using a bar of soap to soak everything, scrub, wring, and rinse then hang to drip dry. I actually enjoyed doing this and our clothes always turned out looking clean and smelling wonderful!
Needless to say, as I type this, I'm machine washing right now at home, but my clothes ARE hanging to dry in my yard! I feel foolish using my dryer when it's so warm and sunny outside!
With clothes drip drying, we anxiously headed down the hill towards the Red Sea for a day of exploring! Crossing through the park we noticed the elderly man was now sitting up and eating something from his sack. I made a point of walking past him and saying, good morning, shalom! His eyes were very kind and he repeated the greeting.
As we made our way down the hill we stopped at the bank's ATM again to withdraw some funds. While standing in line we noticed another homeless man sitting at the side of the bank. He was filthy and looked like he'd wet his pants. Each time someone would withdraw some funds he'd hold out his hand from a seated position. Pamela and I couldn't help but keep glancing at him as he was very distracting. Each time a person lingered their gaze on him, he'd get mad, spew out something in Hebrew, and spit!
After I retrieved our funds, we made our way down to the water and stared across the sea.

We beachcombed a bit, and ordered a fruit drink from the promenade. Our drink consisted of freshly blended pineapple, banana, kiwi, and honeydew melon. Delicious!

We hailed a cab for the aquarium.

We paid our admission at the gate and looked around the park then headed for the snackbar before our shark show was to start.

I didn't read my show tickets when I had purchased, so I was surprised that our seats in the theatre came with seatbelts. To simulate the experience of a boat on water while the diving team dealt with sharks, our seats tossed and bounced to give the same affects. Needless to say, I was wishing I'd waited for lunch till AFTER the show!

The observatory. We climbed downstairs to the underwater observatory and marveled at the coral. At the top, we gazed across the sea and was able to see 4 countries at once - Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia!

It is no wonder this area boasts some of the best diving in the world. The water was so clear!

After spending a few hours around the aqurium, we headed back to the hostel for a short rest and found we had new roommates. They were all in their early twenties and were mennonites! They were so nice and we chatted for a bit while they settled in. I was very fascinated that their college was behind their travels. Instead of paying into college tuition, their school required them to travel the world for several months. My head spinned at all the places they had seen and done and they STILL had 2 more months of travel before heading home!

After our break, I went to the office of our hostel and inquired about a trip to Petra, Jordan. This had been something heavy on my mind. I knew that Pamela and I could do this alone, and save us a ton of money, but I simply wanted to do something on this trip that didn't require, THINKING. I wanted to travel with a group and just rest and let someone else do the planning for once. This would cost me about $200 USD more, and to me, it was worth it!
Our hostel hooked me up on the phone with a lady named, Margaret, and over the phone I gave her our passport information with plans to meet up later that night. Finally, my dreams were coming true. Petra, Jordan in the morning!

After arrangements were made, Pamela and I walked back to the park to check on emails. We noticed the elderly man was gone, but his blanket and things were still under the tree.
We walked back down to the promenade for another fruit drink and to look around. It was getting dark. With expectations to meet up with Margaret back at the hostel, we rushed up the hill and couldn't help but stop for as moment to admire this car!

Back at the Hostel, Margaret met me with smiles and a hug. She has a wonderful British accent and we ended up visiting for more than an hour. Included in our visit was another guy named Jeff who would be making the same trip, but on a different day. Jeff reminded me of my own son. He shared his testimony with me and Margaret. We listened as he recounted how he used to be an atheist and how he came to believe the Bible. His story was so incredible and motivating that I regret that I hadn't passed information with him to stay in touch! What amazing people we have been meeting!

That night, I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned while my head started to feel like an airport! Mosquitoes were buzzing loudly down the runway all night long! I tried to cover my head with the blanket but it was so hot. We were being eaten alive! Little did we know that we had a button to push and a swamp cooler would have kicked on, blowing away the mosquitoes! We learned this the next day! What misery we could have been saved!

It was getting very late and I was worried I'd oversleep. A van was due to pick us up outside the gate of the hostel at 07:00 and it was already 04:00!!

I was stressing and wide awake! I finally got up, showered, and slept in an upright postion on a couch in the outdoor living area. I was not going to oversleep and miss my ride to Petra, Jordan. No sireee!

1 comment:

Patty said...

What college did the Mennonite girls attend? I have never heard of a college that encouraged travel.

Your journey keeps getting better and better!