Well we made it! Long flights but uneventful, at least for me. Arlene was interrogated in Toronto by Israeli officials regarding the purpose of her visit, her bags were gone through. She was the last to board the plane. Interestingly enough, she met the original founders of the Shelter Hostel in Eilat (where we will start our trek) who were coming back to Israel for a holiday. We will be flying to Eilat this afternoon – on this cool stormy day in Tel Aviv. The beach is just across the road from the hostel. The surf is rough, the wind gusty but there are lots of joggers running along the street and sand. The hostel, which unfortunately smells a bit like an outhouse (bad plumbing??) is very comfy. There’s a kitchen on the roof. At the moment we’re perched on our beds looking out on the Mediterranean, writing and drinking tea. We’ve examined the contents of eachother’s packs and Arlene wins the award for most spare packer. I couldn’t find a single superfluous item which is impressive for even the most fastidious packer caves in for some sort of luxury item, even if it is only an extra Chapstick.

Because there is no public transportation after about 3pm on the eve of the Sabbath (Friday night) we had to take a cab from the airport to the hostel. the driver was a congenial fellow who complained about the price of everything in Israel. Basic apartments can be as high as a million dollars, food is expensive. I’m assuming people have average salaries but are taxed heavily, as he also complained about all the money being poured into he military. He had found himself a nice demure Polish wife because, in his opinion, Israeli women, after serving their obligatory 2 year stint in the army, were too aggressive for his liking. And Polish women get that way after being exposed to females in Israel! But would he like to move? Never. Israel is the best , the sun always shines….well not today.

After getting settled into our digs for the night we went out to check out the neighbourhood. We bought some kind of pastry thing filled with cheese, olives, potatoes, and were given a free sample of Turkish baklava by the shopkeeper, which we ate on the beach. Got myself an Israeli phone number – a good deal from the hostel – (it is recommended not to change money or buy cell phone plans or other paraphernalia from the airport kiosks). We kicked back and read and chatted, mainly about our good fortune to be here, to be able to pursue this adventure and all the positive things we hope to get out of this experience. IMG_0005It would be nice if my pack was 20 pounds lighter, if I could read Hebrew, and if Israeli power sockets used a quarter of the power they do (really, power mysteriously drains from newly charged devices – like some form of technological blood-letting. )We are hoping this is a quirk of this particular hostel and not a feature of Israel’s electrical system. We are also hoping that the solar charger, currently untested, lives up to its reputation. Other than that, all is well.Till next time….

7 thoughts on “Arrival

  1. Sandra

    You’ve experienced a lot already..I can just hear you interviewing the cab driver.. I like the sound of your cheese potato pie and baklava on the beach.. Great detail…gives me a good visual! Take care….hope all works out with your pack..


  2. Dave and Sharon

    We’ll second the ‘Glad you arrived safely’ sentiment! Your blog looks great and we’ll look forward to hearing of your adventures. Although our daytime highs here in Edmonton will approach those you’re experiencing, I don’t think our ’10 degrees C’ will be quite as exciting as your 10C. Best of luck on the trail and enjoy!


  3. Alex

    Great to hear you made it safely there. May you have a wonderful trek with the wind always at your back. Looking forward to the updates – glad I can just sit back and read about the journey.


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