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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


Israel Symposium
Friday, November 23, 2007

It feels like I've been in Israel for much more than 3 days! I'm here with Jeff Allen working at a symposium organised by Hadas for one of the 2 seakayak clubs that she works for ( the Optimists Club) They are working us hard ( in the nicest possible way!) with long full days!

Wednesday was a fun day with a trip to seakayak on the Dead Sea. Yosale, hadas and Steve were our local hosts and drove us inland and down down down to 417 metres below sealevel where the Dead Sea lies. The weather was more typically Welsh than typical for Isreal with rain hammering down at Hadas' house, and 20 knots of wind whipping the Dead Sea up into choppy waves. Hadas assured me it was usually flat calm, but today we had to keep our mouths shut or salty spray would sting our lips and mouths. One wave broke on me, sending mineral-rich water up my nose, into my mouth and eyes. It's paniful and you have to try really hard not to lick your lips. It was definately worth it though, as the setting of steep mountains on either side of the Dead Sea, and the sheets of salt crystals on the edge of the sea were really beautiful.
And of course we got to float in the sea afterwards which is incredibly buoyant - it's actually hard to stand up as your legs tend to float up to the surface. Finally, we rubbed ourselves in Dead Sea black mud which is full of minerals and meant to be good for your skin. I don't know if it is good for you but it was a lot of fun. I squirmed into a hole full of mud up to my waist! When we washed it off afterwards my skin did feel good, except for the places where I cut my legs on the sharp salt crystals!

On the way home we drove through Jerusalem but unfortunately the traffic was bumper to bumper and the rain was torrential so I didn't get to see much of the old city.

The last 2 days Jeff and I have been coaching at the symposium with Hadas. I was itching to go surfing on the first day as the recent bad weather had kicked up some lovely waves. In the end we did have a bit of a surf as part of an incident management session in the afternoon which was great fun! The water is wonderfully warm and a real treat after getting numb fingers last weekend in Wales!

More pictures here


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