hiking, israel, middle east, photography, travel
Leave a Comment

Another desert adventure/Kibbutz Ketura

During this desert adventure we stayed at Kibbutz Ketura, just north of Eilat in the south of Israel.

This kibbutz was founded by a group of all Americans in 1973.

We went on a tour of their huge solar panel field, there are some very interesting facts about the field in the article below:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/worlds-first-self-cleaning-solar-park-in-the-arava-valley/

Just to give you an idea in case you don’t want to read the whole thing:

Each night, the 20-acre facility is cleaned by 100 Israeli-made robots, which brush and clean the hundreds of solar panels, generating 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. It’s a technical breakthrough, said Eran Meller, CEO of Ecoppia, which built the robot cleaning crew, that could encourage more use of solar power.

-David Shamah, World’s first self-cleaning solar park in the Arava Valley

Other than the inspiring work they’re doing there as far a solar energy goes, the place is beautiful! There is nothing like hiking in the desert, nothing!

The silence, the vastness of it all, it’s so grounding.

I even found some fossil echinoids, or fossilized sea urchins, during one of the hikes.

2014-10-29 07.17.412014-10-29 07.17.44

2014-10-29 07.29.43

2014-10-29 07.29.482014-10-29 07.29.542014-10-29 07.32.35

2014-10-29 07.54.182014-10-29 08.02.55g2014-10-29 08.35.402014-10-29 08.50.322014-10-29 08.50.442014-10-29 08.51.182014-10-29 08.52.41

This is a view of Kibbutz Ketura, where we stayed for those few days

This is a view of Kibbutz Ketura

The pictures below start my favorite part of this trip. It’s hard to find words to start with.

They suggested we didn’t bring cameras because the sand was so fine. I resorted to my phone so the quality of the pictures aren’t the greatest (and it was getting dark).

So the journey began.

Our bus pulled over on the side of the road.

In the middle of no where.

We got off the bus and hiked through some rocky desert all the while not having the slightest clue as to where we were going.

I was basically unprepared for a hike, only equipped with TOMS on my feet that had seen better days.

But I found myself climbing up the side of this rocky hill anyway.

And then, bam. Breathtaking view.

Apparently Egypt can be seen from there. And to the opposite direction, Jordan.

2014-10-29 15.51.572014-10-29 15.56.35

2014-10-29 15.58.592014-10-29 15.59.012014-10-29 15.59.03

I have never felt sand like that, ever.

It was so soft that you couldn’t possibly care that it was all over you.

And we all played like children in a giant sandbox.

Rolling, jumping, leaping, playing with gravity and being caught by the desert’s silk-like hands.

When we first reached the top, the sand was untouched.

It was like when there’s fresh, untouched snow sparkling on your lawn.

Part of you wants to admire its beauty forever.

The other part just wants to dive in and make a snow angel.

2014-10-29 17.12.56

The next part is still one of my most memorable experiences from this trip in Israel.

Everyone went and found a place to sit alone.

There was plenty of room.

And we sat silently.

Can you feel it?

Sitting in the wide open desert. Hearing nothing but your own breath, seeing and feeling nothing but sand.

The butterflies come back just thinking about it.

It’s not often that a person has so much space to think. When there’s nothing around to change the course of your thoughts. Nothing to do but breathe. No company but your own and the energy of the desert.

The desert has the power to rip you right out of the paradigm you live in everyday, and allow you to simply, be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s