Day 14: Sapir to Gev Holit Night Camp
Day 14, March 13: Nice day. Pack feels heavy on my lower back but I'm also carrying lots of food plus 5L of water. In the north (and even tomorrow) it will be better. Amazing views and two big climbs. Tomorrow harder. First day really going into wilderness. Couldn't find cache but lucky - other big cache there for everyone. Tired of wind. Before lunch (heavier bag) was feeling disturbing twinges in knees on uphills. Don't want there to be problems. Camp: Wadi Geled/Gev Holit.
My fixation on pack weight continues - for obvious reasons, since I had to lug the cussed thing for 8+ hours a day up and down all manner of mountains and wadis.
This day was full of incredible views. Before finishing, we got a chance to look down on the wadi we were to camp in, full of valleys surrounded by sharp cliffs and hills, sections of the earth's crust heaved up into the air and twisted this way and that, and a long, bone-dry wadi floor snaking through the rough desert mountains with a few parched trees and shrubs showing that water occasionally came through.
The most potentially terrible moment of the trip came when we couldn't find our water cache. I went scouting around for it, and I did find about a half-dozen other caches up in the cliffs, but those who knew insisted they couldn't be ours. Either we had bad directions or someone had jacked our water. With all the other water around, it became a moral dilemma: Do you try to go with too little water the next day (putting yourself in danger) or take someone else's water (putting them in danger)?
Luckily, Eliyahu (from Zofar) had happened to drive out here and drop off a massive load of water bottles just in case they were needed, and a note explaining such. This would not have been a quick trip for him - although his jeep should have made short work of what was a day's walk for us, we took an overland route over many steep mountains which he'd have had to go around. The water, of course, saved the day. Eliyahu is seriously the man. Hopefully I'll be able to go thank him someday.
This is one situation where GPS could come in very handy - the person placing the water can put down a GPS marker and send you the file to load onto your unit, saving a lot of trouble and potentially a life.
Periodically, we'd stop at a stunning overlook and be like "Alright, it's profile picture time." We all
ended up with so many, I don't think a lot of them ever even made it to Facebook
Down into one of three wadis we passed through on this day
Over rough, rocky terrain
Hills rolling off into the distance, forming a labyrinth
Acacia trees, part of the slowly increasing vegetation
The desert wadis continue their transformation into scrubland
Crossing the plateau to Wadi Nekarot
Layers of rock heaved up high by past tectonic movements. The Jordan/Arava Valley is a plate
boundary between the Arabian and African plates - a transform boundary, if you want to know
Sunlight and shadows in Wadi Nekarot
Approaching our campsite for the night. While hiking through this valley, we passed an old man
who was running the entire Israel Trail - supported by his son, driving a jeep a few dozen meters
behind with supplies and water
The border between day and night
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