About an hour into our days trek we came to the ancient ruin of Moa, a Nabatean settlement along the spice route. Very cool. I’ll have to check the date in the trail guide but this whole area was traversed by caravans carrying spice and other trade goods. An ancient fortress, a multi-roomed structure perched on a hill complete with grinding stones, mortals and pestles. We took a load of pictures, then carried on to what we thought was Zofar night camp. Somehow we missed the camp. I think it might have been near another moshav ( a farming community where each family has their own livelihood – non communal) but we ended up walking an extra few kilometres to Sapir. This town boasted a park with GRASS. Real grass but an extraordinary colour of green which looked totally out of place against the surrounding desert. Arlene has posted in her blog about how the grocery store was closed in Sapir so someone gave us a lift to the supermarket in Ein Yahal, a large moshav that seemed to specialize in pepper growing. We loaded up on veggies and cheese, hummus, olives etc… and picked up assorted melons and peppers that had fallen from the trucks along the road. I’m talking about perfect peppers ( export grade) Arlene can’t bear to see anything wasted so we had a couple bags of freebies. A young guy gave us a ride to the campground with all our grub. Joy! A campground with a water tap, bags of fresh food and again, we got there as a result of the kindness of strangers AGAIN! We decided to take a rest day there, rinse out clothes, catch up on writing and of course eat a couple bags of peppers!!
The following morning the same guy who drove us from the grocery store returned with 2 more bags of assorted veggies, melons, a cabbage, onions and …more peppers. He invited us to flafel night in the moshav but after 9 days of walking neither Arlene nor I could face walking back into town in the dark. We were kind of creeped out that night by howling dogs or coyotes right in the campground. The farm animals were restless. Do roosters typically crow all through the night? Sheep bleating, cows bellowing, dogs barking. Some kind of strange vibe in the air, in a place that had seemed perfectly benign earlier in the day. My guess was that a volcanic eruption was imminent or that, more than likely, an alien spaceship had landed nearby.