Quick Trip To Jericho
April 12, 2017
I'm so glad I had Yusuf with me... he's fluent in Arabic, so that was vastly helpful. First thing we did was found a sherut to Jericho and hopped in. There was only 1 place left, so Yusuf sat on the ground by the driver. The trip wasn't long but the landscape was incredible. Yusuf asked the driver to let us out early, and we went to the Mountain of Temptation. When we got there, there was a man with a camel and a bunch of little stores. We didn't stop in any of them. We simply headed for the mountain and made our way up. We made a few wrong turns but we always backtracked and got back on the correct path.
We got to the top of the mountain after about 15 minutes of hiking and right as we were about to enter they tell us it was closed. Really unfortunate timing. So, we get a drink of water at he concession and start walking down where a bunch of Palestinian kids start yelling at us that we're foreigners and look like we are from Israel. Oops. That was bad. So we avoid those kids at all cost.
Once we get back down from the hill, we hitchhike into town. This nifty guy driving an old beat up BMW picks us up and we jam to rap music all the way into town...it's only like a 10 minute ride, but it's a good time. Driver guy was a total bro.
There isn't much in town. We bought some swim trunks for the Dead Sea (but never went), we visited some sights like the big tree from the Bible and a church or two, we got a chicken thing (I'm not sure what else to call it), and then we just kind of explored. It was getting late, so we made our way back to the city center and asked some guy if there were any more shared taxis running to Ramallah. There were! So, we sat and waited until it finally arrived!
The ride back was just as breathtaking as on the way there...maybe even moreso because the sun was setting as we left. The mountains were beautiful and the landscape was largely untouched.
When we got back, we both decided to chill for a bit and then went for a drink. Before the drink, I met some fun people at my hostel (Dutch girls are so attractive). Some of Yusuf's friends from his hostel met us there, and...it was interesting. There was a lot of discussion of economic alleviation and political issues (makes sense given the region) and I got bored. Everyone at the table other than Yusuf and I were also smoking, so I got kind of sick of that and my throat was sore.
After the night, I went back to Area D and passed out. Long day. Excited for the next day. The only other thing I remember from that night was that our hostel was right beside a mosque so the goddamned Imam woke me up at 4:30am for the call to worship or whatever...and it sucked and I just wanted to throw something out the window. Damn, such a long announcement. Ugh.