For some of us, our first day in Eilat encompassed a very early start to the day. Around half of us decided it would be a good idea to get up at 4am to go and take part in the optional hike up he mountain - Har Tzfachot in Eilat. Everyone was extremely tired from the options they had chosen the day before yet they still met in the lobby at 5am dressed and in high spirits even though they were doubting their sanity at being up before the crack of dawn. We stepped off the bus to see our own silhouettes covering the barren land.
Once we were all off the bus, we started following the one and only Jonty Blackman, thank God for all the people who were at the back as Jonty quickly realised we were walking the wrong way, and we had to turn back. As we continued walking (the right way) the sun slowly started to rise. We started pumping the music and were all really enjoying the hike - despite the early hours of the morning. As we got to the top of the mountain we were all in awe of how beautiful the view was. The sunrise was amazing to watch. The boys took out their tefillen and we all davened. After Jonty spoke a bit about the mountain we hiked back down a different path. The sun was so shinning, the weather was just incredible. It was a very fun walk back down the mountain, all of us singing while trying to get a good grip on the rocks and attempting to not tumble down the cliff. Once at the bottom we all hopped onto the bus and went back to the hotel.
We had a very yummy breakfast and then went back to our rooms and relaxed until our next activity. Girls and boys then separated and went on different buses to get to the beach. The girls were extremely excited for the beach as we were going to do water sports. We got ready by putting on our life jackets and getting into smaller groups in order to do the different water activities. My group started off going on the banana boat. We all were screaming and laughing as we were going so fast and kept telling the driver to go faster. After the Banana boat we swapped over with another girl group who were on a big floatie, known as a ‘tube’. We were all holding on so tightly to the small bit of rope we had, it was a real struggle not to fall in the water. The water was splashing on our faces and we could not stop laughing. When the driver had told us to come back on the boat we all starting chanting to keep going but then we all just jumped into the water and swam to the boat. We got back to shore and then went on a four person paddle boat. There were 5 of us squished on and we paddled for a bit and then just relaxed in the water.
We had a really nice lunch and got some refreshing slushees. We then went and walked around the markets which were very nice. After lunch we walked to the beach where we went swimming and got some Vitamin D. We had a very relaxing afternoon as we not only laid on the beach but also went shopping. This shopping of course included getting some nice refreshing drinks. The boys did the same activities as the girls but in reverse, they went to the beach in the morning and then did the water activities in the afternoon. After our beautiful day at the beach we got on the bus to go back to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel excited for the night ahead.
Once we got dressed and ready at the hotel, we made our way to the ice mall where we would eventually go ice skating. We met up with the other side at the mall and were given coupons for dinner. After dinner we all lined up to get our skates and went skating. We all had so much fun in the ice and people loved skating with the penguins. There were a few stacks but nothing major. Some people went and got fish massages.
After Ice skating we were supposed to go back on the bus but a few kids went and got Frozen Yogurt which was so good! As we arrived at the hotel we had some time to chill before curfew. Today was definitely my favorite day of IST! There was uncontrollable laughter throughout the day and everyone was seriously having the time of their lives.