Day 2 Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat and back to Mitzpe Ramon

The Honeymooners in the Negev

Four Porsche 356’s in front of King Solomon’s Pillars in the Negev

Today we drove 324 km, all in the Negev Desert. It was hot (95 F), dusty and beautiful scenery everywhere. Our hotel is located on the edge of Makhtesh Ramon (the Ramon Crater). We started today's drive by descending into the Crater which is 40km across. It was not formed by an asteroid hitting the earth; rather, it was formed 5 million years ago when the Arava Rift Valley was formed by movement of the earth's plates. This created rivers that began a million years of erosion, not unlike the Grand Canyon. What remains is a moon-like surface devoid of any vegetation. In addition to the fantastic landscape there are a lot of strange road signs like: "Beware of Camels Crossing the Road;" "Be careful of dust storms created by military tank movements;" and my favorite: Beware of Live Fire Exercises on both sides of the Road."

After crossing the Crater, we headed south through the Negev. At one point we drove adjacent to a fence for 30km dividing Egypt from Israel. The Egyptian Army has an outpost high on a hill on their side of the fence. A number of Egyptian soldiers were at this lookout post with binoculars watching our classic cars on the Israeli side of the border.

As we approached Eilat, I saw a sign that directed traffic in three direction: 20km to the left was the Jordan border; 30km to the right was the Egyptian border; and 10km straight ahead was the city of Eilat astride the Red Sea. If you're not here on the ground, you tend to forget how close everything in this part of the world is.

The last time I was in Eilat was 20-25 years ago. The city has been remade in that time. It is a full-blown tourist beach community with proper hotel, restaurants, and beach boardwalks......a very pleasant place. We had lunch at the Three Monkeys Pub, a very nice place just off the beach. With the warm weather, the beach was full of bathers, volleyball players and sightseers.

The Red Sea at Eilat. Jordan is 20km to the East and Egypt is
 20km to the West. Very small World down here.
Modern dance exhibition at Sapir College;
our lunch stop today

Your intrepid reporter and navigator extraordinaire
with our ride in front of King Solomon’s Pillars.
Our drive after the lunch came north on the east side of the Negev. We made a stop at Timna Park, one of the sights believed to be King Solomon's Mintz. We arranged all the cars in front of Solomon's Pillars for a group picture.....very cool.

Oh yes.......the car and my Navigator. Both preformed perfectly today, although the Porsche ran a little hot as we climbed out of the Crater in the noonday sun. I checked the oil and all seems well. Ilene has gotten the knack of navigating and so far we have remained on the course.

Tomorrow is another long drive as we head north to Jerusalem by way of the Dead Sea.