Monday, December 15, 2008

Judean Desert under Full Moon

Imagine immense moon-like space, silence and in addition to that full moon being the closest to Earth in 15 years. A hike in the desert is an unforgettable experience. And a good way of coping with emotions and confusion of living in the West Bank.

Milena (Switzerland, member of the EAPPI programme) and her husband Yarif were our guides as they spend their weekends in the desert very often. While finding a place to stay for the night and making fire I was thinking of people in biblical times doing probably the same. The dinner we had there was a real feast: aubergine, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes - everything roasted in fire and served with thina (sesame sauce). And the best spice tea ever prepared by Yarif: an infusion of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cardamon with a splash of milk. In moments like this I ask myself why I ever eats processed food. Milena's dog, Luna, was keeping a watch all the time. During the night I was freezing in my unprofessional sleeping-bag but in the morning sun was quickly up to warm me up - it's all part of the desert experience.

The following day we did a few hour hike until we reached the Dead Sea (400 m below see level). Knowing that we were in the lowest point on the surface of the Earth on dry land was quite incredible. Dead See is in reality a hypersaline lake - the concentration of salt is so high that big crystals of salt form on its surface and no animals can flourish which explains its name.

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