Hiking near oasis at the Dead Sea in Israel

After spending 2 days of snorkeling at the Red Sea, I had to move further, and the next stop on my trip through Israel was the Dead Sea. I stayed at a friend of my new friend who brought me to Ga’ash beach in Tel Aviv. He lived in Ein Gedi kibbutz, which is a part of luscious Ein Gedi oasis off the shores of the Dead Sea. The sea-lake itself is of course the major attraction in the area, and I will talk about it in my next post, but there is also a nice opportunity to see local flora and fauna on a daily hiking trip. Ein Gedi nature reserve has two spring-fed streams with flowing water year-round: Nahal David and Nahal Arugot. The former is much more popular, and I was advised not to go there, as tourists pour in big portions coming with organized bus tours.

view 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

So, I went alone to Nahal Arugot and for most of the time I wasn’t disturbed by anyone and even found some moments to enjoy the refreshing waters in the buff!

view 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

Right after entrance, it did feel like it was a desert, but then it got quite green along the stream and at some points I walked right on its banks or even in its shallow waters.

view 0002 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

When it got deeper and wider, I couldn’t resist dipping in the water. Skinny-dipping, of course!

naturist 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

But I heard some loud voices of american teenage tourists and had to cover fast. In any case I had to hurry, because the trail closes very early and I had to return to the entry point by 5pm.

Then I saw the first pool with waterfalls. That is what the trail is known for, but this one was quickly occupied by some American tourists and I continued further.

view 0003 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

I noted another pool but decided to stop there on the way back, if I didn’t find anything else.

view 0004 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

So, I continued hiking partially on the trail, partially through in the stream, in hope to find a more secluded spot. I found one pool that seemed to be somewhat hidden by the trees and bushes and refreshed again.

naturist 0003 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

It also seemed like a nice spot for having a lunch. While I was eating my sandwich, a couple of birds came very close to me.

bird 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

They did not beg for food like their urban relatives, and it was nice to imagine that they were as curious about me as I was about them.

bird 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

After food I went for another dip

naturist 0002 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

and encountered another creature that didn’t mind me taking a close-up photo.
dragonfly 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

Then I finally continued hiking. I reached the tallest waterfall

view waterfall 0005 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

but didn’t stay there for too long as I wanted to go till the end of the trail.

view waterfall 0006 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

Unfortunately, just a little further above the waterfalls I was called by a guard, who told me it was too late to continue further. It sounded strange to me, as it was early still, but I didn’t bother arguing and started my way back in the direction of the Dead Sea.

view 0007 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

I was passing by the high waterfall again, but it was then full of VERY noisy teenagers, orthodox Jews this time. I was wondering why they needed to shout so much, as the place looked so peaceful and perfect for listening to the sounds of nature, but for them it was more of an attraction park, which is also understandable, given that they might not have too much access to natural freshwater pools if they lived in that area. But then I raised my head and right above the gorge saw a group of nubian ibexes.

nubian ibex 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

Apparently, they were thinking about the same issues, as they were staring from above at the noisy tourists fooling around at the waterfall. The good part about their noisiness, I thought, was that in case I would do skinny-dipping, I could hear them approaching.

The pool that I noted previously was still unoccupied so I decided to enjoy it for myself.

As you can see, I also found it to be quite an attraction to slide down the stream bed into the pool.

It was also amazing to see ferns growing on the walls above the stream given that few meters away a rocky desert was starting.

fern 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

But then even more amazing was it to see two animals side by side that you would never expect to see in the desert: a frog and a crab!

frog & crab 0000 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

After I had enough fun at the pool, I followed till the exit quickly and just stopped to take pictures of another group of ibexes, which came even closer.

nubian ibex 0001 Nahal Arugot, Dead Sea, Israel

I never thought I could spend such a refreshing day and seeing so much wildlife at the Dead Sea.

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2 Responses to Hiking near oasis at the Dead Sea in Israel

  1. Smoothalx says:

    Reblogged this on Naturally and commented:
    Always amazed by The Active Naturist adventures.

  2. Pingback: טיול רגלי בסמוך לנווה מדבר בים המלח | Active Naturists

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