We crossed into Israel from Jordan at the Eilat border crossing. We were expecting to be searched from top to bottom so went early. We passed through without any hassles. It was painless and quick.
We camped on a narrow strip of sand between a main road and the beach, right adjacent to the ‘no camping’ sign. We met up with Marc and Blanca who camped beside us.
After a few days snorkeling and relaxing we started to drive north. The Desert countryside was spectacular.
We stayed at a Bedouin camp. This image shows just how native we had gone on out 8 month overland journey from Cape Town.
Israel is in many ways a unique country, especially in the way that it has created communal living spaces.
The most well known of which is the Kibbutz, in which there is no private ownership and everything is shared by the members. One of the most prosperous of these is the kibbutz at Ein Gedi, which lies on the shores of the Dead Sea. It is situated there because due to the numerous rivers which run down from the escarpment into the Dead Sea valley which lies 400m below sea level, and which provide water for the kibbutz’s large agricultural activities. A variation on this theme is the Moshav. This is usually a small village in which each of the members owns their house and can purchase some land to work for their own account as well as that of the village. Trevor, a friend lives in Moshav Haot Nakita, where he is a paramedic. Trevor showed us around this oasis in the Negev where temperatures can often reach 50deg C. We clambered creeks where we cooled off in clear pools below spectacular waterfalls, and floated in the Dead Sea and admired the ancient fortress of Masada. Another friend Greg lives in Ma’alot in northern Israel, very close to the Lebanese border. He was generous with his time, showing us around the Golan Heights and the Galilee area, which is very different from the dry desert to the south. Northern Israel is wooded, mountainous and covered in forests, grasslands and lakes. It is very beautiful.
We were approaching the end of our Cape To Cairo adventure. It was time to call friends and relatives in Canada to tell them we were coming home.
Our next and final stop was the hamlet of Matan, a few miles west of Tel-aviv. My cousin Uggi lives there with her family.
Uggi very kindly let us use her home as a place to go through our things and prepare everything for being shipped back to Canada and the Cruiser to South Africa.
She lived a few miles from one of the walls separating Israel from the West Bank Palestinian territory. It’s not just a wall but a ‘zone’ including multiple barriers, a road and raked sand in which any trespassers will leave footprints. Wow.
A brief day trip to Jerusalem was a pleasant way to while away the days before departing Israel.
The Kibbutz that managed our shipping arrangements called to say that they were ready to receive ur shipping items so we spent an entire with them packing up our ammo boxes for shipping back to Canada.
It was also time to empty out the cruiser and drive it into a container for shipping to Cape Town It was an emotional moment when we said farewell to our trust Cruiser. It had delivered us safely from South Africa to Israel. Hopefully we will meet again soon.