Negev Day 3 – Through the Ramon Makhtesh

Fantastic day!  Great weather – unbelievable vistas, interesting guide (Gilad) and fun with lots of laughs!  So – you are asking – what did we do?  We had a  4 hour jeep ride through the Ramon Makhtesh (some of you may think of this as a crater, but it is a makhtesh!) Our 5 jeeps, with drivers/guides,met us at the hotel and we climbed up and into these desert vehicles!  Not always an easy task. They weren’t made for comfort especially over the bumpy, rocky, curvy paths – not roads – paths!  But – we had lots of laughs!  Gilad, the head guide, with an Israeli South African accent, gave us an excellent lesson on the formation of the makhtesh.  As we drove through the makhtesh it was difficult to decide which view to look, as one view was more spectacular than the next.  What was also amazing was the number of Israeli youth that were hiking through the makhtesh!  Good for them! 
We had several stops, one being a Nabataean oasis which was part of the Spice Route (trading network)  which took large caravans between the northern Arabia to the Gaza Port!  This was one of the resting spots for the camels and caravans loaded with spices, etc.  on their way from the Arabian peninsula to the port of Gaza.  Another stop for the bathrooms at a camping site! 
After the tour we stopped for a quick lunch at Mtizpe Ramon Center – very small, but good to support the locals.  Our last visit of the day was the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center which has been recently remodeled!  Highly recommend it!  The first part was dedicated to Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who perished on board the space shuttle Columbia.  His son, Assaf, followed his footsteps has a fighter pilot and was killed in a training exercise.  It was a very moving tribute and not many of us had dry eyes!  The rest of the center had excellent explanations and short movies of the makhtesh! 
A great day! 
Tomorrow – on to Jerusalem!
CAARI 2014

The Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel, CAARI, offers active seniors a unique opportunity to experience Israel. The program is designed to explore the biblical landscapes, follow the footsteps of the early pioneers, and envision the future of our Homeland. The CAARI Program includes community service, toursa speakers forum and the camaraderie of the CAARI Family. The Program is designed for to feel, touch, hear and see Israel from the mountains to the desert, from sea to sea, and from ancient to modern.

Contact Us at: [email protected]

Links: Jewish National Fund USA :