Crossing the Negev desert, Israel


A rental car, a picnic and a water bottle cargo: it takes at least that to go through the six-hour trip that separate me from the city Eilat, Israel. Between Ashdod, where I began my journey, and the south, a major obstacle. The Negev desert

On the way to travel the 13 km & sup2 000; this desert region. After a few minutes, one thing is clear: it is horribly hot, more than in other regions. So much for my environmental convictions, we must put the air conditioning or I will not hold! When I get out of the car to return to the essence, I am assailed by the hot sun and the heavy and stuffy air. The thermometer shows 47 & deg; C in the shade. I'm walking in the sun and there is drama: my sandals literally begin to melt !

Back in the cool of the cockpit, I continue my journey barefoot. The landscape is of course a bit monotonous, it is a desert after all! But I often stop to take pictures of unusual items: dromedaries, focus panels camel, rare flowers that happen to grow in this arid climate ... at a time, a mass of sand rises and forms a small tornado right before my eyes. She crosses the road in front of the car continues to move for a few meters and disintegrates. This is apparently a common weather phenomenon in the desert.

The road passes through Mitzpeh Ramon, the largest crater in the world. Indeed, it is huge: 40 km long, 10 km wide and 500 meters deep. For almost 30 minutes, I only see lunar landscapes, black soot and frankly depressing. After a moment I arrived at the Dead Sea. Tons of salt are extracted from water (used in particular by cosmetic industries) and deposited in trucks: one has the impression of seeing mounds of snow in the desert, it's pretty funny! I try a dip in the water and I confirm that no, it is not a legend: the sea is so salty that floats on the surface without power flow !

After 300 km of desert, I finally get to Eilat. The shock is striking between this hyper-westernized city and deprived region I come through.

+ Pros:

. The breathtaking scenery, swimming in the warm water of the Dead Sea, the animals encountered on the way


stifling heat, the length of the trip .

advice and tips:
  • The car is mandatory: buses offer the wilderness, but it is not air conditioned and uncomfortable as possible .
  • Dress very light, especially not plastic shoes, they may melt!
  • At night, temperatures can drop to negative, so bring clothes accordingly.
  • Cover your head when you're in the sun if it is insured exposure.

    Practical Information

    How to get there:

    From Paris, 4h flight to Tel Aviv, the country's main airport. Approximately 1 hour drive to Ashdod. The wilderness takes about 5 h.


    car reservation with the local operator Eldan .it


    car: around € 200 for a week + gasoline
    flight Paris-Tel Aviv < / strong> € 300 in low-cost (Arkia), 450 € by scheduled airline (Air France, El Al).
    Accomodation: bit of accommodation at budget prices. In hotel, variable cost depending on the time but expect a minimum 40-50 € per night.

    to see the surroundings:
    The city of Eilat, very European (department stores, luxury hotels) a diving session in the Red Sea (coral reefs and extraordinary fish) swim with dolphins.

    Author: Anna Romani