December 23, 2014
We woke up after a beautiful night in the Bedouin tents and had an enjoyable start to the day with camel riding. Looking at the camels you didn't know what to expect. One at a time we got onto the camels that were kneeling on the ground, on the count of 3 the camel lifted its back legs, feeling as if we were on a slide about to slip off over the camels head. We started to scream, holding on for dear life. We rode in a straight line up the mountain with our hands tight on the metal handle as the cool breeze lingered amongst us. As we kept moving up the mountain, we felt a sense of relaxation when looking across the majestic desert, this made everyone so amazed as the view was just breathtaking. We then had a delicious Middle Eastern breakfast with some hot tea. Before hopping on the bus and heading towards Sde Boker the place where David Ben Gurion lived for some of his life and was ultimately buried. We were able to explore the exact home he lived in, which remains in its original form. We learnt that he was an intelligent man who was himself a deeply inspired man, and thus inspired and continues to inspire countless people today. We then headed to his and his wife Paula's graves which were built on top of a mountain with amazing views of the Negev.After lunch we drove 2 hours to Eilat arriving at the beautiful ocean where we ran around, davened mincha and stretched or legs. It was nice to have time to relax in the fresh air after a long day of bus rides. We left the beach just as the sun was about to set. Eager to shower and relax before a night out in Eilat, we had time to settle in at the hotel. After dinner we made our way down to the boardwalk and spent our evening browsing the markets, shops and restaurants. Soaking in the amazing holiday vibe, with people dancing around a Chanukiah in honour of the festival's final night, others walking along the beach front and many enjoying the amusement rides. I loved seeing the life of the place with the flashing lights and music along the shore's edge. In addition to reminding me of home, Eilat, like every new place we visit here in Israel, has a distinct and unique personality. After having already seen so much on IST, and with a jam packed upcoming final week, exploring every destination on our trip has been akin to meeting a new person, getting to know its character and all that makes it an irreplaceable part in the greater whole of this beautiful country Israel.