Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What not to do in the WC

Only a few hardy souls take the public bus down to Ein Gedi.
Our bus from Jerusalem let us off at the Nahal David station, on the highway that hugs the shore of the Dead Sea, and we walked over to the Nature Reserve entrance.
Most folks drive their own car.
Or big groups, mostly classes of school kids, have their own chartered bus for the day.
They park here next to the palm trees of the Ein Gedi parking lot.

Here at the entrance, under the two huge "umbrellas" made of dried palm branches, is your last chance to buy some food or to eat your picnic breakfast/lunch.
Once you buy your ticket and enter Wadi David, no eating is allowed.
That keeps Nature clean and keeps the wild animals from getting used to handouts.
It is also your last opportunity for many hours to use the washroom.
Plenty of toilets for the big groups of hikers.
Did I say WASHroom?
Don't even think about washing your dishes there. The sign, complete with ibex + tree logo of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, says it is forbidden.
Eeuw, who would want to do that anyway.


Sara said...

What a fascinating place. And the photo of that eating area, under the HUGE umbrella of dried palm fronds is also fascinating. I clicked to enlarge it and noticed all the palm tree trunks looking like columns on the edge of it.

VP said...

For what I remember Israelis weren't much more disciplined than Italians, so how is this ban on eating in the park enforced? Do they use guards with snack-sniffing dogs?

Kay said...

I love that umbrella photo. That is truly awesome. I wonder if there are bugs in it though. If it was Hawaii, that's the first thing I'd think of... or termites. :-)

That is some Nature Preserve. It looks very well maintained.

Lucy Corrander said...

Never seen an umbrella like that before. How enormously large!

Clever idea about the food and drink.

Hope the water is safe for handwashing.


cieldequimper said...

You know what? I wouldn't wash my dishes there anyway! The other rules make sense, though I am with VP on the question he's asking.
The "umbrella" is a sight in itself, it's great!

Dina said...

Sara, oh, I see now what you mean. Cool. Too bad it is really the metal struts that hold up the roof.

Kay, bugs? I think they would die of the heat up there in the spring, summer, and fall.
Yes, the reserve is well maintained. Maybe too well. Last time I was in the wadi, decades ago, the nature was still wild and the trails primitive.

Lucy, I was impressed by the palm roof too.
The water was fine for hands.

Ciel, exactly! That's what make me laugh about, photograph, and post that silly sign.

VP and Ciel, in general you are right about Israelis. But truly, I did not see any litter in our 7 or 8 hours of hiking. I'm not sure how to explain it. I'd like to think that we have a special respect for the flora and fauna in our land. Many decades ago, for instance, a public educational campaign was begun to stop people from picking wildflowers. And it worked!

Snack-sniffing dogs! Hahaha, very funny. But NO.
But the fact that the kids did not eat inside the wadi . . . maybe it is for a practical reason.
There is almost nowhere to sit, especially not for a big group of kids. In the narrow canyon you have a cliff, water in many places at the base, the narrow trail and narrow stairs, some rockfall and boulders, and the opposite cliff.

And there are no trash cans along the way.

Classes are hiking with their teachers and an armed guard (every group brings their own). Young kids are there with their parents. So teachers and parents would not let the kids break the eating rule.

Linda said...

Thanks for again refreshing my mind of some wonderful memories.

Cloudia said...

We should have palm umbrellas like that here in Hawaii. and what pristine washrooms!
Someday, Dina

ShAloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Petrea said...

Hi Dina, I've been catching up on your posts for the last few days. Sounds an interesting trip. There's always so much going on where you are! I love the critters, and am thinking of the people affected by the flooding.

Jouir la vie said...

Very intersting information from your land and beautiful pics...
Servus and have a nice day

Chuck Pefley said...

That dried palm leaf umbrella is simply amazing. And I promise not to do my lunch dishes -:)

Eki said...

I like the top photo. The place looks magnificent! The huge umbrella looks unique too. But the best of all, I like how visitors are forbidden from taking food and beverage into the nature reserve.

Dina said...

Eki, well, water you do have to carry with you. The Nature Reserve sign recommends 5 liters for a whole day (at least in the warmer months).
There is no where to fill up your bottle along the trail, unless you want to drink from a spring.

Jew Wishes said...

As always, your photos tell stories. I especially love the one with the thatch.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

those thatch umbrellas are gorgeous. I have a hut at the bottom of my hill I'm always trying to figure out a way to improve. What do you think, Should I thatch it?