Did you know that after months of sleeping in a sleeping bag, you can still sleep in it the wrong way? Educational moment brought to you by Russ.
We woke up and turns out that when you pitch camp in the dark, sometimes you end up closer to the road then you hoped. We got moving pretty fast, but somehow Russ slept with his sleeping bag sideways. Crazy. Also it's so much warmer at night now than it was at the start of the trail which is nice. We started walking towards the visitor center and got a ride pretty quickly from a guy in a truck. From there we found the trail and got officially started for the day. We climbed up a canyon/wadi thing which, because we were near the visitor center, had little signs with geographic info on them. We'd hike, then read, then hike, then read, with the exception of a few signs that were rusted over. The trail worked gradually up but had a few vertical sections and got very steep towards the top of Mt. Timna. We took a short break at the top and sat with our feet over the cliff’s edge (it's the kind of mountain that has a good sized plateau at the top).
Down was as steep as the up, but once we were down we walked to a building. There was an artificial pond with a gift shop, restaurant, camping, and drinking water. We bought some fruit bars and lounged at the tropical-vibed desert oasis. After more snacks we pressed on, dirt road walking with headphones in. As we walked, I heard a whistle and out of nowhere we saw Moshe! He had been resting under the shade of a tree and we walked over to him. We chatted for a bit and found out his wife drops him off and picks him up every day which sounds super nice! After slightly more small talk, we pressed on and left the INT, headed towards Be'er Ora and the highway. After a while we arrived at a bus stop with no numbers on it and no hopes of a bus coming, so we hitched. We got a ride pretty quickly from a young woman with a baby in the front seat. Her car was clean and smelled good, and things flew by so fast at highway speed. She dropped us at the edge of town where a Superdeal grocery store is. We left our packs with security and entered. I felt like I was in a haze. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the crowded store. Russ and I had a hard time getting things going but after a while we had everything we needed and checked out. We sat in the parking lot and ate Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby in the shade with some strawberries - aka magic. We lounged and after a while started losing our shade. We packed up and filled water then headed back down the street to hitch/bus back to the trail. As we stood there, struggling to communicate with people in their cars who had weird sign-language-like hand gestures for us, an American guy walked by. He was headed to Timna Park and so he walked past us to not step on our hitch turf - very respectful. After a while, we also walked north quite a bit to a real bus stop and just as we arrived the other American had gotten a ride and offered to share with us. We hustled and hopped in the old man’s car, then made some small talk with the old man, and the American who was from Westchester. The older man required seat belts for all which I respect, then more speeding in cars at seemingly light speed. Then back to business. The walk to camp was boring and I was exhausted despite taking a few hours off today. My feet are so sore most of the time, and we also have 2 days of water again. Dinner was yummy and followed by Infinite Jest. Now probably sleep soon since I'm tired beyond words.