Mitzpeh Ramon

view from the mirpesetHamidbar, davka:  We head off for a weekend at Israel’s magnificent desert crater, Mitzpeh Ramon.  The drive is long an tiring; it takes us over six hours (including a dinner stop on the way) before we pull up at the guest house, HaBayit b’Midbar. Here’s the view from the mirpeset (balcony).

This is real desert, with spectacular views of the machtesh (crater). Here is a view from the very edge of the crater:
crater view

And another…
edge of the cliff

The pictures don’t do justice to the dramatic desert colors.
another machtesh view

Erosion has created some amazing effects, such as this free-standing column, almost 500 meters tall.
dramatic column

The geological formations are varied and fascinating. Here are some of the pieces that look almost manmade (from the area known as “the carpentry” for its lumber yard effect):
geological formations

No picture can really capture the spectacular sunset over the machtesh (crater).
sunset over the machtesh

We aren’t the first ones here. Remnants of stone-age art can be found at a few archeological sites.
stone age art

…and some modern pieces of art…
sculpture

…or how about this living sculpture?
Gill

It is a great place for animal-watching, from the birds…
bird on sign

…to the wild ya’elot (ibex) wandering down the street…
ibex in the city

(and we’re reminded not to feed them human food)
don’t feed the ibex!

Of course, the best place to get your animal fix is at the alpaca farm, just about ten minutes away.  There are alpacas with bad teeth…
dental emergency

…sweet-tempered llamas with velvet lips…
alpaca farm

Sometimes there is competition for attention, as our friend Boaz discovers…
Boaz with alpacas

New babies have been born.
baby alpaca

There are also a few camels.
Mr. Camel

And everyone wants to pose for the camera…
Mr. Llama

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4 responses to “Mitzpeh Ramon

  1. What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! I trust it was worth the grueling drive…

  2. Great pictures of one of my favorite parts of the country………

  3. Yeah, it’s a long drive. I *hate* sitting in a car that long, but Gill did all the driving. The last few hours are a bit hairy…

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