Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Masada Israel

Hi from Clare, 10/6/08

Photo 1 Andrew's hat improvisation
Photo 2 Final drinks for us with the "Orange Team"
Photo 3 The Dead Sea from Masada Fortress

We left Haifa Sunday afternoon, the pending gale force winds did not eventuate. We had a few hours of choppy seas but after that our final sail on the rally was terrific. We clocked around 6 knots for most of the trip and arrived at Askelon Israel Monday morning. The rest of that day was spent sleeping and catching up with boat chores.

Today (Tuesday) we left at 7.30am on our final tour before leaving the rally. We traveled to the ancient site of Masada near the Dead Sea. Masada was the last bastion of Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans around the time of Christ. It is a very impressive fortress, placed high on a hill in the middle of the dessert. When conquered by thousands of Roman soldiers the 940 Jewish inhabitants (men, woman and children) committed suicide rather than surrendering to slavery; a tragic story.

We also visited the dead sea in about 40 degree heat, We forgot our swimmers, so we just had to sweat. The water has a 30 percent salt content which makes it impossible for you to sink. I waded in up to my knees and it didn't feel any different than ordinary sea water. However when I got out my wet legs felt slimy; quite disgusting.

The biggest giggle for the day was that Andrew's floppy hat has developed a few holes in the top. He is running the risk of getting his bald head sunburnt. But Andrew can always improvise and so he decided to wear two hats, at first I thought he was joking, but no he was being practical. Hat number 1,(his peaked cap) protected his bald patch, while hat number 2,(his floppy hat) protect his ears. He looked very strange, but do you think that worried Andrew?

So this is the final night with our rally friends. We had drinks on the end of our wharf so that the members in our "orange" group could farewell us before the rally moves on to Port Said Eygpt without us. Pat, Ron, Andrew and I are due to fly to Cairo on Thursday and met up with our friends Patrick and Leanne from NSW and tour Egypt for two weeks.

The rally has been fantastic and we have thoroughly enjoyed every minute. We have seen and done things we would not have done alone and the friendships, sailing and social activities have also been great.

Tomorrow we will head off by ourselves (without a tour guide - very scary )and head for Jerusalem.

Must away and get some sleep. Will keep in touch.
love CANDY