DAY 13 – FRIDAY, MARCH 29: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, TIMNAH, MACHTESH RAMON, TEL AVIV
Today we re-crossed into Israel. The weather would be once again sunny and mild on this last full day of the tour, with temps in the 70s.
Rabin Border Crossing
Leaving Wadi Rum at 7:30, we drove south towards Aqaba and the Rabin Border. This is one of three border crossings. Saying goodbye to our Jordanian guides, the crossing went well. Arriving on the Israeli side, we were greeted by Shlomo, Ori, David, and Messiach.
Coral Beach / Red Sea
Driving south through Elat (Israel’s port city), we enjoyed about an hour on the Red Sea at Coral Beach. Some enjoyed the swimming while others relaxed on the beach. This fork of the Red Sea extends 100 miles south to the tip of the Sinai Desert.
Timnah / Tabernacle Model
Driving north through the Aravah, we arrived at Timnah. This was an ancient copper mine of the Egyptians primarily in the 13th – 12th century BC. This area also has a number of unique geological formations. After seeing the mushroom rock, we were guided through a full-size model of the Tabernacle. About 50 chapters of the Torah are dedicated to this portable Tent of Meeting between God and His people. Hebrews 9 reminds us that Jesus served as our High Priest in His once-and-for-all sacrifice on the cross.
“Today was our last day. Bitter sweet. It felt great to re-cross into Israel this morning, but it’s hard to believe this trip is over. I’m a ‘good-kind of tired’ after an incredible journey! Thank you Dr. John for everything!” -Tour Member-
Following a brief stop at Yovata, a dairy kibbutz known for their famous ice cream, we drove through the Machtesh Ramon. This is Israel’s grand canyon. High on the canyon’s rim, we had a fantastic view of this unique crater. We saw a few ibex here as well.
The last leg of the longer drive today took us back to Tel Aviv. We passed through the Desert of Zin. The 12 spies came up through here (Num. 13). It was also here where Moses struck the rock (Num. 20). We also drove past Beersheba. Abraham made a treaty here (Gen. 21). Later, so did Jacob (Gen. 26). We also past Gath (1 Sam. 17, 2 Kings 12) and Ekron (1 Sam. 6). We arrived at our hotel on the Med Sea for late but incredible Shabbat dinner. A few left later after dinner for their flight home.
DAY 14 – SATURDAY/SUNDAY, MARCH 30-31: ARRIVE HOME
With the exception of a few staying a few days longer on their own, most in the group plan to fly home on various flights through the morning and evening.