Ein Gedi / Dead Sea / Masada (Southern Israel)

 

Most travelers to Israel on a limited vacation only come to the Ein Gedi/Dead Sea/ Masada area for either a day trip or just a one night stay.  The flexibility that our RTW trip provides us with has enabled us to stay for 4 nights.  This gave us ample time to kick back and get into the desert atmosphere.  Living in Las Vegas for 18 years we were right back in our element hanging out in the extreme heat of the desert.  It was about 95 degrees during our visit at the end of October.  It was a great time to visit as we avoided the summer tourist masses and the super extreme 105 degree heat that would melt your brain.  We rented a car in Jerusalem and headed south into the Judean Desert.  We drove alongside the Dead Sea with Israel on one side of the sea and Jordan on the other side.  I have never been to the Moon but I would envision the landscape around the Dead Sea to be similar to Standing on the Moon.

We took a pass on the overpriced, characterless cement block hotel chains on the Dead Sea that isolate you from the surroundings.  Instead, we opted for the lush green grounds of the Ein Gedi Resort Kibbutz.  The kibbutz is located on the edge of the desert in the middle of nowhere adjoining the Dead Sea.  If you want to experience just a little of what it’s like to live (not work) in a fun communal atmosphere, then this Kibbutz would be a good place.  Living on the Kibbutz reminded me of my Echo Lake sleep away days with families eating their meals together in a large dining room.  We loved the grounds set in the botanical gardens and the wildlife roaming around.  However, the rooms were tired and in need of serious updating with the exception of the toilets.  I will go on record and say this old school Kibbutz lodging had the best toilet flushing system.  The flush was an absolute monster and could conquer any loose stools issues handily.

The pool on the cliffs with its sweeping views overlooking the Dead Sea was real spacious and nice to hang out at.  The kibbutz/hotel provides access to a commercial spa right on the Dead Sea.  We swam, I mean floated in the healing waters of the Dead Sea which is the lowest place on earth.  We bathed in the mud and let the hot sun dry it on our bodies and faces. We looked like we were ready for war as we turned ourselves into characters from Apocalypse Now.  This therapeutic Dead Sea mud can be purchased in many stores throughout the world as it supposedly has many healing properties.  Not a chance in hell would I spring for the expensive Bergdorf Goodman Dead Sea mud when the free stuff was there for the taking right at my feet.  The mud was great and I applied it generously to my body and even reapplied it for a second session.  It’s good to be the king!

We hiked in the Ein Gedi Reserve.  It is an oasis in the desert, with its permanent springs, crystal clear waterfalls and amazing desert plants and wildlife.  You will feel like you stumbled upon the Garden of Eden.  There are many different arid mountain trails you can take in this Nature Reserve.  This is the area that David hid out in while running from King Saul.  You can see the caves where David hid out.  It was hot as shit on the hikes but you can take a dip in a bunch of natural water holes and refreshing waterfall pools.  Where all that fresh water came from rolling down the falls baffled me as we were up high in a bone dry desert.

We even got our lazy asses up at 4:30 AM to hike up to the top of the ancient historical desert fortress of Masada for the sunrise only to discover the trail opened at 5:45.  We reset the alarm and went back to sleep.  Guess what?  We slept right thru the reset alarm.  Barbie was one happy camper and thrilled to take the alternative way up to the top via the cable car.  No sweating our butts off but no sunrise for us Flashpackers.  Most travelers to this southern area proceed further south to Eilat or Mitzpe Ramon but we passed on the beaches of Eilat as I was there 25 years ago and left completely unimpressed.

 

The Women of Israel –
The majority of women in Israel are really attractive.  And what made them particularly attractive is they wear very little makeup and are very natural looking.  Even the older women appear to be growing old gracefully without all of the plastic surgery so commonplace nowadays.  Of course, I cannot forget to mention many Israeli woman have big natural jugs without the boob jobs you see on many American woman.  Tel Aviv woman are stylish and many are physically fit.  From what I observed, the woman appear very hard charging, self confident, independent and basically don’t take any shit.  I feel sorry for the single guys here, as they sure have their work cut out for them trying to throw some lyrics on these girls who are cold as ice.

As for the women in Jerusalem, their style is the complete opposite to the woman of Tel Aviv.  In Jerusalem, the majority are very religious and are into their faith.  Many of the religious women wear wigs to cover their hair to conform with the Jewish religious law.  Strangely, it was kinda similar to what I saw in the Muslim parts of Southeast Asia where women covered themselves.  The more religious Orthodox and Hasidic woman were not particularly attractive and are in dire need to attend some sort of fashion class.  Nothing matches and they clearly have no clue how to dress nor do they seem to care.  Yet, most have about a 1/2 dozen kids in tow so apparently they are attractive to someone.  That special someone apparently does not major in fashion either as his uniform is strictly black pants and a white shirt.  I guess, I cannot toot my own horn as my idea of stylish is a pair of shorts, a cut off Under Armour dry fit t-shirt and a pair of Rainbow flip flops.

Next stop is a bunch of towns in Northern Israel in our shitty Budget Rental Car.

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