I saw this fella at the site of the Petrified (or Fossilized) Trees. This snake is a horned desert viper (Cerastes Cerastes) and it's usually found on the desert environments, like the Negev Desert - so please be careful not to tease one of these guys so that you don't end up at a hospital.
Martin noticed some tracks on the sand and at first I thought it was ants (!) and then a lizard I saw a few minutes prior to the close encounter of the third kind with the snake. We stayed a little bit more than an arm's length from it and took pictures without disturbing it.
This is probably the most dangerous thing I saw in all of Israel during the time I was there.Related to:
- Road Trip
Camels cross the road at night!!
Many car accidents have occurred on the Negev roads at night, when drivers crashed into a camel wandering across the road. The road is dark and so is the camel, and if you drive fast you won't see the camel until it's too late.
The camels are owned by Bedouins, who are supposed to mind them and prevent them from wandering off, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
Drive extra carefully when you see the warning roadsigns like the one in my photo. This particular photo was taken near Arad, but similar roadsigns can be seen on most of the roads in the Negev.Related to:
- Road Trip
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Parasites (do not take home)
Sorry, but don't know the name of this parasitic plant that grows on the few trees in the southern desert here in Israel. The first photo shows the growth itself and the second shows the seed pod that many children pick up and take home, helping the spread of this killer. Normally parasites achieve a balance with the body they are parasitic upon, taking what they need from their host, but leaving it alive...this parasite is different, it grows and grows until the tree that it is feeding on dies. Please leave the seed pods where you see them.Related to:
This shows the wreck of a large crane that went off the road (on route 25 just after the turnoff to route 206) the section between Dimona and the Dead Sea...please stay awake and pay attention the roads are winding and steep, perfectly safe if you are an average driver.
Weather in the desert
During the night it can be very cold in the desert so i suggest that you will take some warm clothes with you if you want to be outside during the night.
Also beware of snakes , scorpions and other good "friends"
BeerSheba - Boring place
Beersheba is a very boring place - so hot , so primitive (to my opinion).
You can come to Beersheba only if you want to stop on your way to Eilat or Masada but not to travel here.
Every time i come to this place it is like the time stoped.
Beduin people near beersheba
Near Beersheba and on the way to Arad (and the dead sea) there are several beduin settlements like Hura , Kuseyfe , lakya and a few more.
I am not saying that all of them are bad people but the youth is sometimes not very good people - the trying to take protection money from people who build their houses in Beersheba , omer , lehavim , some of them are driving without a driving license so dont try to argue with them on the road if they pass you on the road dangeoursly.
Some of them are veru rude and impolite , they also put things on the road during the night that car will hit the thing they put (chair , washing machine and more) so Be careful !
Flash Floods, the aftermath
You can get a better idea of the depth that the flood swept aside the manmade road from seeing the cars passing over the road. The depth that the water cut here was close to 3 meters.
There are warning signs on many sections of the road and also depth signs, red and white poles marked from 0.5 to 2 meters in depth and YES the water can get that deep in a flash flood and I have personally seen a fully loaded semi-trailer swept away and the driver did not make the shore.Related to:
- Water Sports
Flash floods in the desert can be quite destructive, be careful of them. Here in the picture you can see my friend Giora sitting alongside the road at the Dead Sea after a dam that was supposed to control some of the flooding here burst because of torrential rains. Where he is sitting was at the level of the road only the day before.Related to:
- Water Sports
Scorpion, be careful
This is a very serious warning....
If you are hiking, riding or driving in the desert and turn over stones, the chances are you will sometime find a scorpion. We have both the black and the yellow (seen here). The yellow is by far the more posionous and can kill a grown man. They will not "attack" you unless you disturb them by trying to pick them up or by stepping on them. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. If you are bitten, you should get medical care as soon as possible. The chances of a grow adult male actually dying from a sting are small, but a woman or child with less body mass could.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Sheep on road
As you drive through the southern parts of Israel you will be likely to encounter a Bedouin herder with his sheep, goats or camels. Any and all sometimes wander onto the road and you should be very careful not to harm them or yourself. If you see a dust cloud in the distance, it may be a herd of sheep approaching the road. I have had the dubious experience of being in cars that have hit donkeys, camels and sheep, no fun for sure (especially the camel, he is bigger than your average passenger car and falls on top of you when you hit him....).Related to:
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Camels crossing the road (also at night) are a real danger.
Even at day time camels can be hard to spot due to their skin colour, that is about the same as the soil colour.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Salt of the dead sea
The dead sea water is very salty !
if you have open wound , shaved legs etc be careful it will sting for a while , avoid contact with salt and your eyes.
The sun in the Desert
The sun here is very strong so take a good hat , sun glasses , sun cream and be careful.
Also a lot is water is a great idea !
Driving to the dead sea
The road to the dead sea is very dangerous because its from +500 meters to -400 meters and a curvy road...
Drive carefully so you will be able to enjoy your stay here.
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Mobile Post Dead Sea, Arad, 86910, Israel
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