Posted in Travel

Israel Day 15: Scorpion Hunting in the Negev

After being in Israel for two weeks, I’d adjusted to the heat. Sure, it was hot, but it had become easier to deal with. Then we went to the Negev, otherwise known as the actual desert portion of Israel. Turns out, I didn’t know what hot was yet. And then there were scorpions. And we went looking for them. On purpose.

The heat of the Negev was like a thousand burning suns pinpointed on my skin. I couldn’t believe how hot it was. It was suffocating. It was exhausting. It was painful. But ignoring the heat of the Negev (a near impossible task), the desert is actually really pretty. It’s like you’re surrounded by an ocean of sand, and in a way it’s really soothing. As someone from the beautiful province of British Columbia, where everything is green and gorgeous because of it, it’s a very pleasant surprise to be able to find beauty where there is very little green to go with it.

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We began our visit to the Negev by visiting David Ben-Gurion’s grave and home. David Ben-Gurion was instrumental to the founding of the State of Israel and he was Israel’s first prime minister.

When nightfall hit, we went for a scorpion hunt; yes that’s right I said scorpion hunt. This was something I’d been dreading since the beginning of the trip. I don’t want to go looking for no scorpions, and I certainly don’t want to go looking for them at night when it’s dark and I might step on one and die. But that’s what we did. I wouldn’t say I have a fear of scorpions, per say (I mean, it’s not like they’re spiders), but that doesn’t mean I want to come across one. Yet there we were, drudging through the desert, in the pitch black, with glow sticks and black lights, and our pants tucked into our shoes – you know, so a scorpion can’t crawl up your leg…

I was tense the entire time, brain going into overdrive, not wanting to blink. I was just praying I didn’t step on one.To my great solitude, we didn’t actually find that many.But here’s a picture of one we did find:

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Confession: I didn’t take this photo; no way was I getting close enough to snap a photo

So it was a hot, tense start to the Negev, but my fear quickly evaporated, and the next day was a lot of fun (hint, it involves camels). Stay tuned!

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