This is a warning, definitely not a danger. Hiking in the desert, very often, you will come acorss Beduins with their sheep and goats herds. They go to the desert with sunriseand wander around till sunset. Once you'll encounter the shepherds or more precisely once they see you they will most likely ask for either money, food, or water or anything else they may want or need. Surely the decision if yours whether to give or to ignore, just be aware that you may find yourself in such a situation. Beduins are extremely nice and friendly people and they will gladly tell you about life in the desert, places to visit and even point you to some attractions that only they know about. And if you're invited for a coffee, don't refuse because those people definitely know the taste of real coffee!
Dehydration is your biggest enemy during the hot summer days in Israeli desert. Make sure you drink enough water and protect yourself from the sun. Especially if you're a tourist coming from a totally different climate it will take quite some time before your body adjusts to our weather. A sunscreen would help too. Just remember that you're in a desert.
Please be careful in our home, our WatchCAT, Simba is very, very dangerous.
He can purr you to death. Here he is doing his frightening immitation of a lion.... If you find him on the loose, please notify us as quickly and calmly as possible.
Other dangers, he can, and will, crawl all over people who are sleeping, so be warned..
In the second picture you can see Simba resting after a long day of protecting our garden and home from intruders such as other cats, dogs and even porcupines....
In the third picture I asked Simba to at least open his eyes to pose.
The fourth picture shows Nala (Simba's sister, well actually brother, but that is another story fo later), also "watching", but she goes in for the "still life", that is not a bowl of "attack fruit", only dried fruits...
Zohara thought I had been wiping my nose on my beard or something when she noticed that it MOVES..this small miniature grasshopper is not dangerous, is not poisonous and of course is NOT BIG, but we did have one hell of a time getting him untangled from my beard ^O^
The second picture shows a Rhagodidae Solifuga, a small hunter of ants. Just shows you what you miss if you do not keep your eyes open, this small creature is only about 4 centimeters long. I caught a bit of movement near a rock on a hike and took a closer look. It was like a miniature lion safari, watching the Rhagodidae dart out of its concealed lair to snatch an ant and then return. This went on for many minutes as he would go back and forth, each time with a new catch.
This is the "Akraboot", a desert dwelling insect that is NOT posionous...But, yes, there is a but here, beware of the BITE of this small insect, well not so small actually, this one here is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) long (they do get larger though)...these are the insects that attack, DESTROY and eat scorpions for a living. They can be found throughout the deserts of Israel, but many people have never seen one.
When Michele showed up with some scratches and scrapes, our neighbour Alice volunteered to come and patch her up, so never fear, if I manage to damage you on one of the hikes, Alice is here to do a good job of repair.
Many people ask me about traveling with children or even babies. We have taken Tal with us since she was 3 weeks old. At 3 months she did a 1 month trip in California. This pic is at 9 months and she loves the desert as you can see.
The important point I want to make here is if you do take children you have to be aware of several things, first and foremost you need to make sure they drink enough water, second you need to make sure they are protected from the sun. If you follow these few simple suggestions you will be able to enjoy the hikes with children of ALL ages and they will show you how to enjoy it as they do !!
Flash floods in the desert are beautiful to see, but dangerous to cross. The water in an otherwise dry place can very suddenly become powerful enough to turn over a large truck (I have personally seen and rescued people from these situations).
Just be careful and if you see poles on the side of the road with markings that show 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, that is the depth of the water. Don't cross without help.
The picture shows the result of a flash flood and what it did to the side of the road at the Dead Sea.
If you come to visit Arad (my home), the Judean Desert, Massada or the Dead Sea, make sure that the Arad Volunteer Rescue Team (which I volunteer in) doesn't need to preform an Alpine rescue for you.