. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: April 13, 1998

Monday, April 13, 1998
Jerusalem, Israel
Israel's FlagWest Bank's Flag

Jerusalem, Israel:
Latitude: 31° 46' 53" North
Longitude: 35° 13' 52" East
Altitude: 2633 feet
From Seattle: 8401 miles
Lodging: Hostel - Al-Arab

Today's Travel:
Country: Israel
Regions: Dead Sea, West Bank
Route: Service Taxi: Jerusalem - Masada - En Gedi - Qumran - Jericho - Mount of Olives
Start: Jerusalem, Israel
Stop 1. Masada
Stop 2. Dead Sea, En Gedi Reserve
Stop 3. Shulamit Falls, En Gedi Reserve
Stop 4. Jericho
End:Jerusalem, Israel
Linear:101 miles
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Dead Sea: pre-sunrise Masada, Israel

Dead Sea: almost dawn... Masada, Israel

Dead Sea: Sunrise! Masada, Israel

Dead Sea: Sunrise! Masada, Israel

Cistern Masada, Israel

Looking over reserve at the Dead Sea En Gedi Reserve, Israel

Shulamit Falls En Gedi Reserve, Israel

St Georges Monestery West Bank, Israel

Overview of Jerusalem Mount of Olives, Israel

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 368
Linear Dist: 97353
Countries Visited: 31
Regions Visited: 118
More stats...
Hotels: 76
Friends / Family: 98
Camping: 38
Hostels: 124
Transit: 32
Beers: 1466

Journal Entry:
Well I got to watch the sun rise over the Dead Sea from Masada. The morning started at 1:55 AM when the manager of the hostel woke us up (there was another guy in my room dowing the same trip). I was a little confused since I thought we were supposed to get up at 3, not 2. After getting dressed and getting my gear together I asked the manager and he said something like "2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, there is no difference". We couldn't figure out if that meant we could go sleep another hour, or he hadn't told us the correct time last night. So we went to meet our ride (a service taxi the hostel hired for the day), which showed up just over an hour later. This was a pretty frustrating way to start the day since I didn't actualy get to sleep until after one.

We drove down to Masada and hiked the 450m elevation trail in the light of the nearly full moon. It was a beautiful hike but even in the pitch dark the temperature was already well into the 70's. The trail was steep, but there was quite a crowd waiting when the gates opened so I set a quick pace so I could do it in peace. It only took me 20 minutes to get to the top, but I wasn't sure I was going to survive the 45 minutes until the sunrise. After a simple, classic, but beautiful sunrise I spent about an hour exploring the mountain top fortress. Then it was a scurry down the trail to avoid being left behind.

The next stop was the En Gedi Reserve. We spent about an hour an a half frolicing in (on?) and around the Dead Sea (well needed after the Masada hike).Then we were given another hour and a half to hike up to and swim in the water falls of the preserve. It was a beautiful valley and I would have liked to spend the rest of the day hiking the preserve. There wasn't enough time to make the larger falls (although I missed my chance at swimming trying to). By this time the temperature was well in to the 90's and I was going through an amazing amount of water.

The next stop was Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), which was just a photo op since there's nothing to see but a hole in the side of a cliff. After that it was off to Jericho. Unfortunately there is not much left of old Jericho and the new town had very little to offer, although that didn't stop our bus driver from having our lunch break here. It was in Jericho where the high temp of 104° F was "experienced".

After Jericho it was a couple photo opertunity stops at the Mount & Monastery of Temptation (the mountain where Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights while be tempted by the devil), St. Georges Monastery, and the Mount of Olives (a great vista over Jerusalem).

As exhausted as I am I've decided to put off going back to Jordan until tomorrow (I'll skip staying in Amman again, and head straight for Petra). Unfortunately it's only 3:30 and I don't want to go to sleep quite this early, so here I am taking shelter from the heat in the internet cafe again (not sure when my next chance will be).

As evidence of how hot it was today: I drank three liters of water, and eight sodas or juices.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Jerusalem
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Israel and the Occupied Territories
CIA World Fact Book: West Bank
CIA World Fact Book: Israel

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