The road is empty. There are not many tourists on the way to the Red Canyon. We can only see soldiers passing by with their vans. When you look more closely you can sense the military activity in the region. Nearby the road it’s possible to spot the Israeli bunkers, but also the Egyptian military shelters and serious looking soldiers who are keeping watch on the other side of the border. It feels like we are entering a battlefield, but we still continue or way to the Red Canyon.
We find the location and go from the main road into the Israeli desert. The road is sandy and you can smell the dust. It’s a nice contrast between the quiet desert and my little brother talking loudly in the car. I enjoy the environment and look into the landscape of sand dunes to spot some animals and plants.
After leaving the car we are surrounded by the desert. I go of the path and enjoy the exploration of the desert. Eventually I spot some flora and fauna. So there is life at this desert. My little brother is trying out the new Canyon camera and makes some really cool pictures with some cut limbs. But who knows maybe in the future he will be a crazy good photographer.
At the foot of the canyon we see a big sign that you cannot access further if it’s dark. Good to know, because it’s quite late so we need to make the hike fast. My family goes in front and I take a nip of my water bottle and look around. It’s comfortable to not hear the tooting cars and noisy people in the The Hague where I live. I enjoy the moment and start the hike.
My family and I go further and further to find the Red Canyon. Walking through the desert – the sandy mountains start to surround us. You can only hear your footsteps on the loose stones and feel the breeze. Sometimes the mountains give a feeling that they can drop their sharp stones any moment we pass by. So it’s important to be careful for the rocks. Suddenly the path becomes smaller and we notice a red blush from the so called Red Canyon. It invites us to go in…
When we enter the canyon the sandy walls surround us like a labyrinth. It’s important to follow the painted signs so you don’t get lost. We go deeper into the canyon and you can only see the blue sky when you look up. Some parts are slippy and you need to beware for loose stones. The first difficulties come when we need to climb some metal ladders to keep going on. My mother panics a little bit, because of the claustrofobic feeling to be stuck between sandy walls. Luckily she is brave enough to continue.
We go out of the canyon and are on the other side. It’s almost getting dark. My father and I spot some new path for the way back. It’s quite slippy and a little bit dangerous, because if you slip you can fall from quite high. My sister and her boyfriend follow me to take the more ”dangerous” path to enjoy the view from above. We see our parents and little brother walking down. It’s important to hold firm to the metal bars so you don’t fall. Eventually the paths meet and the group gets safe together.
The sun goes under and the darkness surrounds us. In the desert when the light goes off you can’t see anything. We should have listened to the warning on the board… Luckily we have some lights on our smartphones. We go further and take a shortcut. But eventually the road ends dead. My little brother and my mother panic a little bit. So my father and I use some ”Bear Grylls skills” to find a point of view. We can see the road back to home!
What would you take with you for a desert hike?