Day 18: Geve Hava Night Camp to Hod Akev Night Camp
Day 18, March 17: Things I never thought I'd say till the trail: "Whoa, civilization." "Uh, how much sand do you guys have a problem with eating?" Further adjustment to pack weight but I think it's getting better. Jumped in COLD spring. Hike to Sde Boker in morning, stay 3 nights. HAIRCUT! Camp: Akev (under Hod Akev)
We hiked through Nahal Akev and found En Akev, the coldest spring I've ever seen. It's a big pool under a cliff and the water was so cold that half an hour after I'd gotten out (after being in for maybe two minutes) my toes still didn't really have feeling back. Apparently, people lose watches and other valuable stuff down there all the time, and a trail angel's daughter later told us about how she used to dive down and try to treasure-hunt.
You couldn't tell it, but the water was incredibly deep from a bazillion years of drips from the cliff above, and the sides were too slick to get any kind of grip, so I kind of got stuck in there until I figured out how to glide out like some kind of amphibian.
We took a detour to avoid climbing up Hod Akev, another punishing climb, as there was too little time before nightfall. This night marked our first experience successfully finding our water cache, although we could never locate the canned food that was supposed to be with it. Luckily we were a half-day away from a town and weren't depending on that food.
Incidentally, the quantity of sand mentioned above, though substantial, was well below the threshold at which we'd have thrown out the water.
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