Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........

The first weeks in 2012

Week 01 + 02, monday 02 January - sunday 15 January 2012.
After I was back in “Fazar Azar inn” hostel I enjoyed one more day in Nazareth. Most of this day I stayed in the hostel to get my feet some rest. I’m not used to walking that much so with a couple of blisters on my feet I could use some rest. We were just in time to finish with the trail because this day it rained the whole day. Together with Kate I went into the old city of Nazareth to get some pancakes from a famous little restaurant.
We extended our stay here by playing a chess game and because it was still raining we ordered some more pancakes. Later in the evening we bought ourselves some beers and toasted again on the nice ending of our hiking trail. The next day I took my motorbike and went to the Golan Heights. I drove on nice scenic roads close by the border of Lebanon. Unfortunately I took once a wrong turn and ended up at a border crossing and had to return. Back on the main road I went to Mt Hermon on this road I saw more and more military people. The land here is
mostly confiscated by the government to have a safety zone with Lebanon and Syria. I have to confess that this area is much less beautiful than the east part of the Golan Heights. All the way down to the sea of Galilee was full with military vehicles. I was glad to reach the area around the sea of Galilee. I wanted to stay at the hostel where Kate and I stayed during New Years Eve, but unfortunately it was fully booked. I ended up  spending the night in another hostel in Porriya, a new hostel with lots of rooms. They gave me a private room for the price of a dorm room and I was able to park my motorbike right in front of my room. I stayed here two nights, so I had one day to do some writing and update my blog again. With a temperature of 22˙C I went further south to the “Dead Sea”. The further I went south the warmer it became and soon I was sweating in my motor suit. It didn’t take that long to reach Ein Gedie where I stayed in another Youth hostel. After unpacking my bike I took a  nap to get some sleep. Somehow I was a bit tired and I have still no idea why. On Friday I went for a hike in the Ein Gedi valley and after one and a half hours hike I went to the beach. It was the first time for me to swim in the dead sea and this was real fun. To get into the water it was quite a
challenge, because of all the salt on the rocks. The salt was in some places sharp and therefore it’s recommended to use flip-flops or swimming shoes. Once in the water I had lots of fun. What ever I tried I ended up at the surface of the water. If you don’t move your body you will automatically flood on the surface. There are some rules if you want to swim in the dead sea. You are not allowed to dive, your head should always stay out of the water. By swallowing water you have to go immediately to the beach-guards for treatment. And you are not allowed to enter after sunset. After three nights in Ein Gedi I went further south to
Mitzpe Ramon where I will hike in the Maktesh, what looks like a big crater, but it isn’t a crater at all. If you like to read more about this Maktesh please take a look at this site. I arrived early in the afternoon in Mitzpe Ramon and booked for three nights in “The Green Backpackers”. This hostel is owned by two official certified tour guides Yoash and Lee, who like to hike in the area and therefore they can give you lots of advanced advice for hiking in the Maktesh and the surrounded area. Lee and Yoash are the two most friendly hostel owners I have ever met during my travels. On Monday I stayed at the hostel to do some
paperwork and also to write again. On Tuesday I went together with a volunteer from the hostel into the Maktesh for a 16km hike. We had some great views and I took lots of photos again. In and around the Maktesh are many trails to hike and you can easily spend a couple days with “The Green Backpackers” as a  base. There is an Alpaca farm and the possibility for horse  and camel riding. There is an desert archery and the the possibility of doing a wine tour. “The Green Backpackers” organized also lots of activities, like “Sunset tours”, “Naked eye star gazing tours”,  “Jeep tour” through the Maktesh, “Bedouin campfire” and many other things. With a
rate of 75 SIN you can call the rates for the dorm bed cheap, because I have spent  always more than the 75 SIN. After this pleasant stay I continued my journey to Eilat, a place at the most southern point of Israel and located at the “Red sea”. With its five kilometre coastline Eilat is a huge source of income. With my last two vouchers left I checked in at the Youth hostel and got a nice welcome. Because is was still early I went out  to explore around the boulevard. Eilat is very touristic with all its big hotels. The locals don’t really like this, because
the average tourist books an all-inclusive holiday and spent hardly any money in the local shops. For a change I bought myself a falafel and a beer for dinner. The next day I started with a nice cup of coffee at a cafe where I met Roberto. A dutch person who live already 18 years in Israel. He recognized  me as a Dutchie by my length. During our chat I met Josie, who runs a massage salon in town. Because I like to have a massage from time to time I went to the salon and bought myself a massage. Here I met David, Josie’s husband and he invited me
for dinner later the day. Because they would go to friends from South-Africa he thought  that we could practice dutch together. Well we spend more time with eating, drinking wine and listening to music than practicing dutch. David and Josie invited me later the night to stay the night at their place since they had a spare room. So we went back to their place and drank more wine and watch some movies on youtube. It turned out that I stayed another couple nights since we had great fun together. Because Josie is from the Philippines she cooked
some nice meals together with Lydia, an employer from the massage salon. Josie and David, thanks again for the great time I was able to spend with you. I enjoyed the talking despite that I missed some parts of it because of the amount of wine we drunk.

Countries I have visited: