Monday, September 10, 2012

Arava desert, Israel, 2012

Arava desert, Israel, 2012, a set on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
The Arava desert, Israel; south of the Dead Sea, bordering Jordan. Beware flash-floods; no rain may fall, but the floods come here. Green plants appearing in a bone-dry landscape. Stunted, beautiful trees with their characteristic upside-down triangle shape. Multicoloured strata of sand-stone, and it is sand-stone, not sandstone. See the gullies carved by the water, and the wind? See the gorges and the tunnels? See how nature works? Think you are strong? Really???

The valley south of the Dead Sea is way below sea-level. To reach the Dead Sea, or to go south, towards Elat or the Red Sea or the Sinai, take the winding, steep, stunning, turning, roller-coaster road from Be'ersheva. Make sure your car has power, and has brakes, and suspend fear--it doesn't help any. Watch out for slow trucks and fast buses and bedouins and fallen rocks and your own nerves... When you reach the bottom and your ears have popped many times, you'll see the desert...

I shared some, not all, of these photos earlier in the year through this blog, in a Smilebox (search for "Israel" if you want to find it). This is the first time I've put them together as individual images. If you make your way through them all (there are many, look out for the jeep, the children (my wonderful nieces and nephew), and the dog. They help set the scale. Coloured sands paint abstract sheer-drop walls.

Every time I visit the Middle East, I leave a little more of me behind... one day I may just stay, and forget to move.

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