After our morning visit to Masada, our tour took us to Ein Gedi Nature Preserve, a sanctuary for a number of plants and animals. There is precious water here too from springs which is bottled for consumption.
We spent a few hours at the reserve walking up and around rocky hills and paths with views of waterfalls and creeks.
To be honest, I never heard of it before we came. But,it certainly livened up the spirits of the adventurous among us in the group. For me, the highlight of our stop here was the falls. A number of visitors decided to get themselves wet and play with the water.
I didn't realize our stop was going to involve a hike, a steep one. It got difficult at times. There was a point when we wanted to just return to where we started. We didn't know where we were headed. Luckily, we saw part of our group and tour guide and we just followed them. Once we knew our way, did the rest of the hike ourselves.
This was one of the waterfalls we saw in the preserve. When we were given towels after getting off the bus, I thought there were pools inside.
A view of the rocky and dry terrain at the Ein Gedi Nature Preserve. This was the desert alright.
If I remember right, this was the plant from which the crown used for Jesus was used before his crucifixion. The huge thorns were visible. They certainly were big and hard. I can just imagine the pain it inflicted on the head.
This was the main path to the mountains, hills, and waterfalls in Ein Gedi.
Can you see the thorns?
This was one view from atop a hill.
Of course, a photo op!
These palm trees were located by the entrance to the preserve. There were tables where people could eat and sit. There was one store which sold snacks and drinks.
By the entrance there was a mini exhibit as well. It displayed pictures from decades past of people who lived, worked, or studied in the area.
This was one huge rock made of up small pebbles called a conglomerate.
Description for a conglomerate
The hike up the mountains in the desert begins.
This was a view from the top most part of our hike. Going down the mountains and hills was easy. The walk up was not.
I wondered what the holes on the sides of these mountains were. They must be caves.
And more falls