Hot in the Desert / Back up North

Dan Israel (2003)

Today we were gonna go back to Tel Aviv, and planned on leaving shortly after breakfast. Unfortunately, we discovered that dad left his credit card at the restaurant last night. So, we went to get it – and had to wait an hour for them to open. As we left the city, the temperature started to rise. It was hot. Damn hot. We drove north, and made a pit stop at Yotvata again – gotta love it! Further on down the road, we made another stop at a gas station. I had to use the restroom. This is where things got scary. The lavatory was filled with flies. Now I’m not talking 10-20 flies. I’m talking over a hundred flies. It was loud. It was scary. I was fast. When I got back to the car, a few flies had decided to come along with me…. and over the next hundred miles or so, we were letting flies escape into the hot Negev Desert where they would have to fend for themselves.

One of my “missions” this trip was to check out a Burger Ranch hamburger. I remember from 20 years ago having a hamburger that had spices that were just unbelievably good – and my memory was that it came from Burger Ranch. Two years ago I didn’t have an opportunity to try, so I had been hoping to get a chance this trip. That opportunity manifested itself in the form of a large tent in the desert, near a kibbutz. It was a Burger Ranch, with air conditioning. Holy hell, it was like a sign. So we got the burger, and it was mighty tasty – love those Israeli pickles. But, sadly, my memories must have failed me, for the burgers were not spiced in the way I had hoped. Damn. I must find that burger!
We continued up north, until we reached the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the planet, about 400 meters below sea level. We then started the climb up the mountains, and saw a sign indicating when we hit sea level. I thought that was pretty cool, seeing how high up we were now. We also noticed how frickin hot it was: 42-degrees Centigrade. That’s about 107.6 degrees Farenheit, which is too damn hot. Whew. A few hours later, we made it into Tel Aviv, and went back to the Isrotel Towers Hotel, where Dina came and met us.

Sidebar: I drank five liters of water today. Wow.