Wadi Arugot, or what to do in Israel when you have less than 24 hours till your flight back
Who would have ever imagined that in less that 24 hours I was able to do so many things in Israel? Definitely not me. Especially because when I woke up that morning around 6 AM I was still in Eilat and by 9 PM I was supposed to be back to Tel Aviv to catch my flight.
The initial plan was that on the way back to Tel Aviv to visit the ruins of Avdat Fortress which caught my eye when I was heading to Mitzpe Ramon. On the other side, somehow I was not that keen on going there. The wadies around the Dead Sea were still lighting up my imagination. I knew that there were more wadies/ nahals worth exploring than Wadi Dragot and Wadi David and especially Wadi Arugot was lingering in my mind. So, I had to return to the Dead Sea, I just had to explore Wadi Arugot also.
Same as Wadi David, Wadi Arugot is part of En Gedi Nature Reserve. It was carved by the flow of a permanent water spring. Since it is permanent, the stream is cushioned with ferns and moss and a large variety of plants, which makes it life sustainable, being home to a variety of birds and animals. One of them being the Ibex.
To explore the wadi/nahal and reach for the hidden waterfall or the superior pools there are two hiking trails. One trail goes up on the stream following the stream`s route and in this case, you might get wet. In a really hot day sounds like a good idea because offers shelter from the heat. The other trail goes along the stream offering great views.
When I went up I preferred the dry trail thinking to return on the wet trail afterwards and this proved to be a very good choice. The heat was melting me down and all I could think about were the natural pools which are placed at the upper part of the valley.
The view was getting more and more spectacular after every corner. I even forgot that in 10 hours I have my flight. If I have to compare it with Wadi David I would say that by far Wadi Arugot is more beautiful and more challenging. The closest I was to the upper pools I felt more and more like melting. But it was a bit paradoxically, the heat was a nuisance but the view was blowing away any discomfort I might have. I was enjoying every step. My eyes were having a treat, there was so much beauty around me…
I do not think I can describe the bliss I felt when I was bathing in the fresh water looking at the walls of the canyon around me. The layers of rock were in full view and so the history of the earth going back for thousands and thousands of years. Such a paradox, to bathe in sweet waters at the Dead Sea.
With a great sadness, I took myself from the water`s wet embraces and start descending, it was time to return to where we parked the car and head to Tel Aviv.
This time, I followed the blue line, the wet trail and walked down the stream. My feet. were wet but I could not be happier. I was fascinated how the nature in this arid place was making sure to provide a hide-out from the heat. I never thought that heat will get to me the way it did. I was craving for a big tree to offer some shadow from the constant heat. I was in the desert for almost a week now and the heat was overwhelming. I was thinking how it would have been back in the times when people were actually living in places like this. It must have been tough but they were able to manage and adapt to the conditions.
Followed the road 90 when heading back to Tel Aviv. I kept looking at the Dead Sea thinking that there are still so many places I want to see and explore. I could see the Moab Mountains guarding on the other side and somewhere beyond them the Nabatean Petra was calling for me.
The desert, the keeper of old memories which were turned into sand by the passing time, scattered around by every blow of the wind, trying to tell stories. Many eyes are there to see, but fewer are there to comprehend…