Morning came earlier than I wanted; 6:33 to be exact. I woke up to the soothing sounds of Moki's good morning greetings. Breakfast was nothing short of a pile of unadultered terribleness. JK. It sufficed my caloric needs to say the least.
After filling my gut with carton eggs and hummus we made our ways to the majestic camel. A big beast that is in serious need of an orthodontist. I don't know how much Mayanot paid for us to make a short loop of less than 400 meters outside the camp site, but it was worth as much as saying “I got to ride a camel in the dessert”.
We then departed on a two hour bus ride to climb mount Massada. The bus ride was filled with the pleasantries of silence as everyone took this precious time to catch up on sleep, which we desperately lacked due to late night talks, bond building, and other “recreational” activities.
Approaching the orange sun reflecting cliffs was something to behold. Refreshed from the nap, I was filled with wonderment and zeal. I felt ready to beat anyone to the top of this mountain. Off to the races!
Only the elite took on the challenge of jogging up the steep switchbacks and inumerous stairs. Moki assured me I would never make it to the top within 20 minutes. Oh, like that strawberry short cake knew what a Haverford lax bro was capable of!
We started at a nice pace and separated ourselves from the pack as Moki and I took the lead out infront. He told me he had climbed this route over 100 times! Wow…… Ametuer. His calf definition definitely suggested otherwise. But that's neither here nor there.
It was a battle. I was struggling while Moki marched on with a machine like determination. I thought that under his cute exterior there might have been a metal Terminator skeleton. He was sent back in time to teach us the beauties of Israel.
Zdfs\I was dieing. I wanted to puke. I wanted to give up. I looked up at the summit which seemed so close yet so far. I was succumbing to jelly leg syndrome. I looked at my watch and I had just 2 minutes to prove Moki wrong. With the last bit of chutzpah left in tank I trudged on. By the last steps I was on all fours like a dog. There was Moki, sitting at the top of the steps smiling. Glad that I had surpassed his expectation. I collapsed on the cool ancient stones queried centuries before my existence. Looking over my conquest I felt a great sense of accomplishment. We stood there and cheered along the rest of our compatriots.
The ruins of Massada are steeped in the courageous narrative of Jews holding off a great Roman legion for over 3 years before falling on their own swords instead of being enslaved by the ruthless Romans. This narrative is championed around Israel as an inspirational true event. However, there are many inaccuracies and neglected details with this heroic tale that are overlooked to push forward the notion of the brave Jewish last stand.
Now we are headed to the Dead Sea. I'm sure it will be underwhelming as it is only just an extra salty body of water with no life or excitement exept for the fact that we can float a bit more easily.
Day 9. Our last together. I don't want the adventure and learning to end, but I think our mothers need us back in their homes soon or else they'll start force feeding the neighbors.
Best wishes and until we meet again my friends,