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Sunday, January 27th
After our last wonderful breakfast at the Abraham Hostel we took the tram to the Central Bus station where we purchased a ticket for Masada.
It was too early to check in so we left our bags and headed for Ein Bokek, the public beach on the Dead sea. We were going to take the bus but a group of Polish people invited us to join them in a shuttle.
It was chilly but we HAD to swim because we were there. It’s definitely an interesting experience! There are change rooms and cold showers there. The beach is beautiful and huge and it being low season, very quiet.
Dinner at the HI Masada Hostel and Guesthouse was a lovely buffet. We noticed one Israeli man seemed very hungry as he had 3 plates of food. He got up at one point and the busboy came to clean up his plates. “Oh” I said “I don’t think he’s finished”. So the boy called out to him. He just waved him off and left. One plate had at least FIVE chicken cutlets on it!! We were disgusted by the waste. His leftovers could have fed a family of four and it went in the garbage.
Two German girls joined us in the dorm room. Thankfully they too planned on getting up early to climb Masada so no need to dress in the dark and be silent.
Three phone alarms went off and we were all out the door by 5:20 am The trek up the snake path to Masada is tough but we managed to do it in less than an hour. It’s well worth it! The sunrise was nice but the ruins are really interesting, especially if you’ve read the book “The Dove Keepers” by Alice Hoffman.
Going down is tough on the knees!
Our reward for all that was an excellent buffet breakfast at the hostel.
Next we caught the bus to Ein Gedi National Park where we walked to the David Waterfall. There are caves in this area where David hid from King Saul.
There were a couple of other trails we thought of doing but were told they were closed as there’s danger of a flash flood. So we did the “scenic trail” and checked out the ruins of a very old synagogue.
On the bus back to Masada it started to rain a bit. On our walk back to the hostel we were treated to a rainbow over the Dead Sea.
After all that physical exertion we really enjoyed the buffet dinner at the HI Hostel.