For my birthday, I’d decided to take every opportunity that was provided for us. Unfortunately, that led to the earliest wake up on IST so far. At 4:30am, those who’d decided to do the sunrise hike of Mount Tzfachot woke up, to the huge annoyance of everyone else in their room who were sleeping in until 8:30.
Lopped on the bus, a group of tired students headed out of Eilat. Arriving at the base at around 5:20am, we began up the mountain with the goal to get to the top within the hour.
Once we reached the top, we sat and watched as the sky opened up in front of us. The sun shining right onto the Red Sea below us, creating a magnificent reflection. After making our way down the mountain, we looked at the marking of the end of Shvil Yisrael, the journey which we’d just completed was the end of this 40 day hike.
We made our way back to the hotel, many of us taking this opportunity to wake up roommates who had decided to sleep in. We had breakfast, packed our swimsuits into our bags, and headed to the marina for water sports.
With a group of ten people each, we were loaded up into boats and sent out into the Red Sea. Once we’d achieved an appropriate distance, my group of ten got on our first ride. The banana boat. What ensued was mania, people being thrown about whilst many just tried to hang on. Throw a few chants into the mix and you have an amazing experience.
After getting back to the marina, all of us soaked (me especially), we had lunch with some of the Netzach kids. A good chance to hang out with people we hadn’t seen in a while. After this, we had the chance to explore the boardwalk. Most of us took the opportunity to cross the bridge to explore parts of Eilat we hadn’t seen before.
At 2:15pm, we began our journey from the bottom of Israel, back to Jerusalem. Many of us who had woken up for the hike that morning took the opportunity to get back some much needed sleep. After waking up an hour into the trip, the familiar sounds of Bus 3 banter surrounded me. As we neared the end of the trip, we had to say goodbye to a big part of our Bus, Josh Todes. After goodbyes and promises of visits when we returned, Josh left and we arrived to our last hotel, Ramat Rachel.
Once we had received our rooms, the last ones of IST, we had a chance to relax before dinner. I was particularly excited for my room, as it was probably the only room with just my Masada friends since Poland.
Meeting up with the Netzach kids (who were also staying at our hotel) after dinner, many of us hanging out with friends we wouldn’t normally see. Then at 9:30 that night, we had a talent show. Sadly the talent show did not go the way we thought, and it quickly dissolved into just chilling. Nevertheless it was a great way to end a great day.