Day 10: Tsihor Junction to the mouth of Nahal Barak

Day 10: Tsihor Junction to the mouth of Nahal Barak

Day 10, March 9: Woken up by guy with microphone while stars still in the sky. Drama increasing in group, headache. Because of this and Shabbats I want to leave them after the desert, come what may. Ended up with the big group again. Barak Canyon is huge and impressive, possibly coolest thing on the hike so far. Camp: Warehouse @ Sapir.

I really resented the guy going around with a megaphone waking everyone up. The hike did shift my internal clock several hours forward, but I've never been a morning person.

The drama (again the headache referred to) in the group mostly centered around somebody being really pushy and nobody else knowing how to deal with it. I had it the worst since I couldn't follow discussions and decisions being made and felt like I couldn't get anybody to listen to me - or the people who would couldn't assert themselves against the direction things were going.

Wadis Vardit and Barak, which we hiked on this day, were probably the most awe-inspiring part of the hike. They're ravines with towering mighty walls, narrow and crooked and rising up for hundreds of feet on either side. Before the hike, everyone had told me "you don't want to miss Wadi Barak" and they were right. If you ever hike in Israel, make sure you at least go there if nowhere else in the Negev.

"Barak" means lightning, but I'm not sure if that wadi is named after the biblical character like many places in the Negev are, or if it's meant to refer to the sharp, jagged shape of the canyon.

One last day with the big group

Dust blowing across the wadi

Cliffs dwarfing the hikers

Into the Vardit Canyon

Everyone hiked with cameras out, and although my DSLR was a pain to carry, I'm glad now that I

had it

Those little metal staples in the wall, visible at the bottom, were what made it possible

for us to traverse the canyons. Needless to say, this is one of those places that is simply

out of the reach of mountain bikers, much less fully-loaded bike tourists or


Another occasion where my 50mm lens made it difficult to capture the

feel of the hike

Our climb up through Vardit Canyon took us onto a huge plateau

swathed in a dust storm. Several kilometers later, we came across

this chasm - Wadi Barak. At the top left you can see two people,

for scale

Wadi Barak is not for the scared of heights

Sunset on the cliffs at the mouth of the Wadi

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