We started the day with the usual great breakfast we have had available most mornings, three or four kinds of yogurt (plain with olive oil and spices is fantastic), eggs, cucumber salad, cheese, and fruit. Mmmmm. Then we went out, got on our camels, which were all tied together, and our train was led on a little loop in the desert by a Bedouin dude on foot. Not exactly camel racing, but it was fun in a little kid’s carousel sort of way. I can now say that I have ridden a camel! After the camels we rove to the entrance of a park called En Avedat and hiked up a trail along a little stream in a canyon of the desert. Really beautiful. There was all sorts of kinds of rock layers. The most interesting to me was the chalk layers that had fist sized chunks of flint in it. I saw several ibex, some crab carcasses on the side of the pools, and brilliantly red dragonflies. Oh man, we stopped at the Ben Gurion Nat’l Solar Energy Center, which is a research center for different kinds of solar energy. Right now they are developing a prototype of a mirror disk that collects and reflects light up to one small solar panel so that there is less cost and more efficiency. The last test they did brought the average collection of one square of solar panel from 1 watts to 1500 watts! Isn’t that incredible! And I guess its a requirement here that all houses have solar hot water heaters, which saves a lot of electricity and costs little. Really quite awesome. What else did we do... I stopped writing. Oh yeah, we went back to Be’er Sheva and had a little presentation of the history there, though I’m embarassed to admit that most of us were too dehydrated to listen to her properly. I have been really good regarding that though, I must say. On average here I drink three to four medium size water bottles a day, which is much much more than I usually drink at home. And I’ve been applying sunscreen so diligently that I’m not even tanning, let alone burning! Ok, so after the very zionist presentation on Be’er Sheva, we drove to Arad to our hotel there and had an early supper, because we climb to Masada tomorrow.
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