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Stories This compendium of infrequently updated stories is my attempt to share some of the beautiful things that came cross my way.

Sleeping in the Negev Dessert or how two Bedouins didn't fall in love with me

ISRAEL | Saturday, 10 November 2007 | Views [3633]

Dear friends,

Ein Avdat is a National Park not far away from the graves of the Ben-Gurions (at the Kibbutz Sde Boker). It is basically a valley in the desert where there is water flowing through. It was also part of the Nabatean trade route (who were Bedouin tradesmen that travelled through the Negev transporting herbs and incenses from cesarea and Akko to the Egyptian areas and vice versa).

Anyways, I didn't come there for human culture, but for nature's culture.

As you enter the valley, on each side about several hundreds of metres high, the shades grow bigger and the air gets cooler. It is a nourishing place, where palm trees are growing and Ibex (goats) roam and live.

The walk through it is relatively simple, as you start at the bottom of the valley, walk it through, to eventually climb up some hundreds of stairs to look down on it again.

Here is a wonderful waterfall that you can see on the pictures and that is better be seen than told of. Huge caves open themselves to your eyes (they look as if a giant wanted a tennis ball and simply took a round piece ot of the stone) to your left and right as you follow the cold breeze into the valley. You take a break at a small dam, feel the clear water on your sweaty neck and you see birds roaming through the airs of Ein Avdat. It is a peaceful place.

The whole walk takes about one hour, and if you - like me - don't want to spend money, but rather to camp somewhere, you take all your belongings with you. Which is actually quite fun. Until you reach the stairs leading out of the valley. About 400 of them, and sometimes so narrowly carved into the stone that your backpack doesn't fit through. Which means poking and hoping that the person behind you gives a good push - not too hard and not too weak.

The dragonflies here sing songs of respect and openness. Quietude can also be found in the little meditation rooms, that ancient monks placed inside the walls of Ein Avdat to find themselves and the world around them. To speak an "OM" inside there tells you somehow that there are some good vibrations.

Getting out of the National Park I knew that there was a camping ground, somewhere along the blue trail. Which I followed for about an hour, through a dried-up river bed with almost no human tracks along the path. It was amazing. I couldn't spot the camping ground, so I just chose a little stony area covered by some more stone. After having spotted a mantis nearby the night closed in.

Then some sounds grew louder, and I already prepared for a group of hungry, blood-lustruous coyotes gathering around me. And there came two bedouins with their sheep bringing them back home.

They greeted me, having about 50 brown-coloured sheep at their knees. I took a picture, and they got quite agitated to take a closer look at what I was doing.

I showed them the recordings, and they were very impressed. They were two beautiful girls, with soft, brown skin and eyes as dark as full-moon-night.

A little idea came to me, which was maybe to find a nice place to stay in the community they live. A night with bedouins - what an adventure. They barely spoke English, so I pointed at me and gestured someone sleeping, then pointed at them and said "HOTEL?!"

They looked at each other, all of a sudden quite frightened. That confused me quite much. Until one of them replied, strongly gesticulating "You me no Sex no Money, No nO No".

It basicaly ended with these words, for every attempt to correct the misunderstanding resulted in only more distrust and fear.

Off they went their ways, and I spent wonderful night under the stars with no coyotes, a lot of peace, and a mysterious voice starting to sing songs in one of the darkest hours of the night. I couldn't spot the man, and his voice was filling the air, the ground and the beings (including me) with a merry feeling, telling of warmth and loss and how beautiful life is - day and night.

Tags: Adventures


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