In Which We Reach the End

Monday, June 3, 2013

We made it! Of course, it's June 3rd and I'm just posting this now, but hey, what is June for if not for catching up on stuff from May, right? Right. May 31st's theme was "a vivid memory"... so here is one of mine.


Left: Oh, you want me to walk up that before dawn? Cool.
Right: Well, at least there are stairs...?

 
We had barely slept the night before because we were so excited to be sleeping in a desert. It was still dark when we woke up, not exactly well-rested, because as cool as sleeping in a tent in the desert is, the mats we had slept on were not the most comfortable things in the world. Also, it's true, deserts are COLD at night. After brushed our teeth, it was time to get dressed and get on the road. My friend Tovah and I hid behind the giant tour bus to get changed (because the bathrooms were so crowded), and now we can say that we got naked behind a bus in the Negev Desert! We set out for Masada, and even though we were exhausted, we were excited to get there and start the hike.

As we stood at the base of the fortress, I was definitely terrified that I wasn't going to be able to make it up. I'm not the most in-shape person ever, and having fractured my spine in 2008 and having 2 herniated lumbar discs, I wasn't feeling super confident in my ability to hike up a giant mountain, even if there were stairs. We started the ascent, and it wasn't long before I was in a decent amount of pain. Fortunately, one of our tour guides hung back with me (and another girl who was having troubles) and eventually, step by step, we made it to the top!

Good morning, Masada!


Gorgeous.

Sleepy and in pain, but amazed.
After the sun was fully up, we continued touring the national park and exploring the ruins. We learned the heroic and tragic story of the Jews that defended Masada against the Romans, in the end, choosing to kill their own and end their own lives, rather than live as slaves once again. It was an amazing experience to walk through that place and think about the people that had lived there.

By the time we were ready to hike down, it was a million degrees (approximately) and I was still in some pain. The Snake Path down the other side of Masada is even steeper and more challenging than the ascending path up the stairs, so I took the option to not die, and instead, took the cable car down.


Those dots on the right are parts of our tour group, hiking down.


We reached the bottom, tired, starving, and disgustingly sweaty... but we ate lunch and then headed to the Dead Sea!

Weirdest thing EVER.
The entire trip was really one, extremely vivid memory... but this was definitely one of the most memorable days we had!

And that's the end of Blog Every Day in May (and apparently catching up in June). Thanks for sticking with me through this, and look for some new features coming soon! Also, actual life updates, since my blog has mostly been these daily blog prompts. Check out other people's vivid memories over at the link up, and check back soon for new posts!

- A

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