This is the view from the beginning of the hike. We walked through rocky trails all the way down into the valley.
As we worked our way down, stopped for a swim in the first pool (which you'll see later in this post), then continued on the rocky trails until we arrived at the pool in the image below.
The hike requires swimming through this part of the river. Isn't it beautiful?
And this is how we got down. It was about 4 meters with a little bit of a jump at the end. We climbed down with back packs, cameras and phones in water proof bags, and did some swimming in the fresh water spring.
The drive from Jerusalem had us arriving in Yehudia later in the day than we expected, so we were only able to hike part of the trail, then turn around and head back the same way we arrived. Maybe we could have done the whole thing, but we wouldn't have been able to take advantage of swimming in the natural pools!
When we first arrived, this place was packed with swimmers... us included! The pools were too deep to touch the bottom, and we could feel little fish nibbling on our toes in the water. The surrounding boulders made great places to sun bathe and picnic.
On the way out, we explored these lovely ruins known as Yehudia Village. The ruins mark the entrance of the the hike, but since we headed out the same way we went in, we spent some time admiring them at the end of our trip.
Then we headed home... but not without picking up some Orthox Girls who were hitch-hiking a long the way. Something we'd never be able to do in the US! :)
For more info on Yehudia, go here.
Adventures in Ein Gedi