We left early Friday morning for the Negev. It is in the Southern part of Israel in towards the Dead Sea. We were on the bus for about three hours maybe. I had a horrible headache as the night before we had a huge party celebrating the end of Ulpan. We made chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, apricots, and bananas. A lot of champagne too. Opps. I totally felt like Ina Garten heating up the chocolate getting it to the right consistency. It was a lot of fun. So while on the bus I tried to sleep. When we finally got to the beginning of our hike we all got of the bus and were like where are the bathrooms? (Efo ha sherutem- in Hebrew) The counselors looked as us and laughed and then pointed to the mountains. Boy that was fun. So we started hiking and we had a great guide. Very knowledgeable, made us stop and drink water every five minutes practically. It was so amazing though as we were walking and you could see all the layers from hundreds of years ago. We then started to begin the walk down in the river beds. You were walking in what used to be a river which I think ran into the Dead Sea, or I'm assuming, as that is where our hike ended. The mountains were huge on either side, I'd say five story buildings at some points.
There was a ton of limestone, both soft and hard, and a ton of flint. I took some small rocks. Once we would climb up to the top of the mountain, and we did climb, praying for dear life the person in front didn't slip, or the rocks didn't move. Seeing from above what you climbed was so amazing. The mountains went on for miles and the physical characteristics of each range was different. Some would be very dry and rocky, with a peak, and others were more rolling with a plateau. You just looked to the next person asking them if this was really happening. I'm so glad that I've been able to see so much of Israel, not just the cities. I enjoy exploring the entire country.
We stayed at this nice hostel, very secure. The food was fantastic! We had a TV, watched Lizzy McGuire before bed which I haven't seen in years and also Dancing with Wolves. What are the odds. Ha. But I kinda made a kosher slip though :( So for breakfast they don't usually serve the typically eggs and pancakes. It was more salads, bread, some fish, and cheeses. There was cereal though, phew. But they also had some puddings. So I had one at breakfast and wanted to take another back to the room for later. So when dinner came around, I decided I would have the pudding for desert. So we sit down for dinner and my friend Morey asked me to take it off of the table. I understood that you can't have meat and dairy in the same meal, so out of respect I took it off the table, but I still was going to eat it as I'm not Jewish. So after dinner, I open the pudding and start to eat. Then I hear Morey and Jake start talking and then Jake told me that I need to stop eating or not to let them see me eating it as I was using a meat utensil for a dairy product. He then tells me that they could lose their Kosher license if they catch me. I immediately stop and just go and throw the fork and pudding out. I know right, what a slip up. I felt really bad, but it didn't even occur to me that I was using a different utensil for the meat. Whoops.