Last Thursday Kate and I went on a bar crawl that had both Israelis and tourists. I made friends there, one of them being Ifat, an electric Israeli with an infectious smile. On Thursday, while browsing facebook, I saw that she was attending a full moon hike/cave adventure Friday night hosted by Wild Israel, a tour company based outside of Jerusalem. The hike mentioned they provided harnesses and such so I wasn't entirely sure what I was in for. I asked Ifat if I could tag along, she immediately agreed and sent me all the info.
The tour met outside Jerusalem sometime after 10 pm and caravan-ed to a large canyon outside Jerusalem in the Judaean desert. When we got there we did kiddush, had some snacks, and drank a little wine to calm out nerves. There was a short hike down to the cave entrance, along the edge of a very pretty canyon. It was a smaller version of what I imagine the grand canyon looks like in person. When we entered the cave we stashed most of our backpacks and jackets and began our adventure. The cave is HUGE and it took us hours to get through. There was one descent which required harnesses and ropes, but luckily it was a very short one because I was definitely scared. There were also quite a few tight spaces and tunnels requiring crawling that tested my anxiety. I've never been in a cave before and honestly, had I been told all that were going to be doing in there, I doubt I would have gone. I am so excited I had no idea what I signed up for and went. We emerged from the cave around 4:30 am and rested on a large rock staring at the stars. Eventually we moved down to a small pond like thing where our guide made us coffee and we all relaxed while the sun came up. Overall it was one of the coolest things I have ever done, but I am much too tired to explain all the details. Instead just look at all the pictures, and ask me about it later.
Ifat and I having our pre cave wine to calm our nerves
Our great guide, Gilad
Nap time in the cave