4×4 Trip to Jordan – Day #2 Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum… It is so close to Israel but so much different than the views we have here! Nature is absolutely amazing

We began our way from Aqaba to Wadi Rum at the old Hijazi train station, the train meant to bring prayers to Mecca all the way from Istanbul through Damascus. The construction of the railroad stopped multiple times, one of them during the WWI when the local Arabs bombed the train as part of their resistance against the Ottomans. It was the first time I heard about Arabs fighting against the Ottomans.

Before arriving in Wadi Rum we stopped on a huge dune of sand and began to play on it, we climbed up and down the dune with our SUVs.

After playing around, we finally arrived to the Wadi Rum and its visitor center. First thing everyone noticed was the enormous rock formation called “The “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.

And here began our 24 hours journey in Wadi Rum! And oh God, it was so breathtaking.
First of all, the landscape of the flat desert with so many rock formations that are thrown randomly (or not)

Second is the high range of colors of the desert, yellows, oranges, reds, violets… and even some greens. Everywhere we drove the color got changed

Third thing was the high amount of Bedouin camps around the Wadi. We entered two of them and they have been extremely friendly, they also were surprised to hear that we are Israelis. We stayed in one of the nicer camps in the desert. And had great meal over there with tasty lambs, and great Bedouin tea.

I felt it is a must to wake up at sunrise in Wadi Rum, and it was definitely spectacular

Last but not least, there are so many beautiful natural arches which creates beautiful natural frames


4×4 Trip to Jordan – Day #1 Eilat -> Aqaba

I dreamed a lot of time to cross the border and travel to Jordan, But never thought it is going to be that way!

My friend Amichay had mentioned for a long time that he is going to a 4×4 trip in Jordan with an Israeli group using his own Jimny. But only until two weeks before the trip I asked him about the details and how I could join. He didn’t have a place in his car, but we realized that I can partake in the stuff car! In the same moment, I called the guide and reserved my spot!

We were a group of 4 cars, and we met near Kibbutz Eilot just before Eilat. We introduced each other for the first time and went quickly to the border to pass to the other side.

On the border, we had to pay a fee and change our car licenses to Jordanian one. We bought some alcohol in the Duty-Free store and passed the border. On the Jordanian Side, we met our local guide Abdullah which is a close friend of our tour guide and also a fascinating man, a Bedouin that born in the caves of Petra and also knows to speak Hebrew very well (and other languages), more about him later.

Also, a Jordanian Policeman joined the group, this is the law for groups. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak English, and most of us didn’t speak Arabic (including me), so we couldn’t communicate with him that much and get to know him. Which is a shame, probably could tell delightful stories about living in Jordan and about serving the king.

After finishing all the border control bureaucracy, we finally arrived at Aqaba!

In Aqaba, we toured the local market, where we could buy Sweets, Herbs, Tea, Coffee, Keffiyeh and different velvets and fabrics.

After finishing the tour, Amichay, Alex and I went by ourselves in the city. We saw all the lucrative hotels of Aqaba – which are enormous, they look likes palaces, and one day I will definitely try them!

I think the most special part of the day was to look at Eilat from the other side for the first time. The Red Sea was also super quiet and clear and made us wanting to scuba dive here

We finished our day with a nice glass of the Whisky we bought on the Duty-Free.

Caesarea – Wave After Wave

 

Caesarea is a highly popular touristic site in Israel, and for a reason! It is a magnificent archaeological site from the Roman era, and in comparison to other places in Israel, most of it wasn’t ruined!!

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But this is not the subject of the post. Don’t you remember? I’m visiting all the beaches of Israel this summer!

This weekend I’ve been to a self-awareness retreat which took place at the Water Sports Center of Caesarea. While the retreat, we had some long breaks to enjoy the location of being by the sea. And to digest all our experiences during the retreat.

 

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Wave after wave 🎶

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I paid attention that there are good beginner waves for surfing. I learned Surfing back then when I was backpacking South America, during my time In Florianopolis, Brazil. Since then, Surfing becomes one of my traveling hobbies. Whenever I travel, I look up for locations to surf. But as much as I love Surfing, I don’t practice it on a regular basis; it’s not that important to me than other things. But when I have the opportunity, I do it. And this weekend it was just in time.

After the one-hour surfing session, I got some writing inspiration, and I realized why I love surfing.

  1. It’s FUN and full of adrenaline.
  2. Surfing is retrying over and over.
  3. Surfing is getting into the water only to get back to shore.
  4. Surfing makes me practice patience.
  5. Surfing is about choosing which wave you take and which one you don’t.
  6. Surfing is to feel the right moment.
  7. Surfing makes me practice self-trust.
  8. Surfing is about seizing opportunities.
  9. Surfing is about elevating myself up on your two legs even though the chance of crashing is high.
  10. When I crash with the wave, I don’t have other option than losing myself to the power of the wave until it gets soft, resistance won’t help, but may break my back.
  11. Surfing is about feeling the ocean and understanding it.
  12. Surfing is about enjoying one wave, detach from it and continue to the next one.

 

If you have never tried Surfing, I’m inviting you to do so. I rent the surfboard at FreeGull. It was my first time using their service, and also surfing in this spot. Their service was good and thoughtful. They gave me useful tips about the surfing locations and some extra time for free. I didn’t try their guidance, but I guess it is as good as their service.

Dor Ha Bonim – The Most Picturesque Beach in Israel

Wow, This summer is going crazy!

Israel is so hot and humid these days, that even when I try to go for a short hike, I find myself laying on the beach eventually XD But this is for another post!

Today, I want to introduce you to one of the most beautiful gems on the Israeli Coast Line!
It’s a nature reserve called Dor-Habonim, which I’ve been there already twice this summer, in different parts of it. First time I went with Naama, my girlfriend, to Dor Beach near Kibbutz Dor, this is the south part of the reserve. It’s a beautiful beach consist of two lagoons, where you can lay on soft sand or go for the rocky area and take a cool panoramic picture of the beach or of the waves crashing on the rocks!

From the beach looking north, we saw a hill, and a trail to climb it up. Once we got to the top we found out Tel-Dor, it’s an archeological site of the biblical port city “Dor.” But enough with history 😉 We climbed up to get a panoramic view of the coastline!

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On another day, I went with my sister to Ha-Bonim Beach, the north part of the natural reserve. It is also a lovely lagoon, with soft sand. It is also a place where you can have camping overnight. The beach located near Ha-Bonim Town. And there is also a skydiving spot over there!

After spending time on the beach, we took a short walk on the trail facing south. When we suddenly the “Shells Bay” revealed, it is a small bay, full with shells, of course, that seems to be taken from a movie. A very romantic spot! Shame that Naama wasn’t with me there!

Continue on we got to another panoramic viewpoint over the Mediterranean coastline.

We could continue on the trail, it keeps all the way to Dor Beach (no roundtrip), but we were hungry, it was very humid and we had only one car. So we came back to our car, turned on the air condition on full power and went to eat lunch at Zichron Yaakov XD

 

How to Get There?

You can come with public transportation only to Bonim Town, and from there, your only option is to hitchhike or a walk for 40-50 minutes. In my opinion, it would be better to come with a bus to the city of Zichron Yaakov or Fureidis (links for bus routes from Tel Aviv) and from there to take a taxi to the beach (5-7 minutes ride)

With a car it is much simpler, of course, just take highway 2-north and exit right to route 70 after passing Caesarea, then on the first left turn, turn to highway 4-north. After some minutes you will a sign for a way to Dor Beach from your left, and some minutes later a sign for a route to Bonim Beach also from your left.