Written by Zvika Gasner Koheleth 13-April-2021, Photography by Angela Hechtfisch
We joined Arthur du Mosch, a licensed Israeli tourist guide, for a part 4X4 tour part hiking in a cold and windy day at “Sde-Boker”, an unusual weather for this Negev landscape, and so is the man, in a good way, a true “Indiana Jomes” in look & personality. Arthur a fluent English, Dutch, Hebrew, German speaker who came from the Netherlands to Israel in 1985 as a student of agriculture, studied “Nabatean” runoff systems and his subject work on big mammals at the “Jacob Blaustein Institute of Desert Research” in “Sde-Boqer” at the Department of Ecology for a few years. Arthur specialty is this Negev Desert in general and the nearest surrounding of “Sde-Boker” as this is his home, and with the wilderness of the Zim Vally in particular.
Sde Boker & Zin Valley
The desert has so much to offer, with its quite solemnly open space that stretches as far as the eye can see, blue sky with no clouds for most of the year, and clear & dry air in your nostrils. Though the landscape looks so relaxing it can be seriously dangerous for those who are unfamiliar with the hazards that lay here under any stone by a form of deadly snakes or local scorpions. Also, If you get sunstroke or being dehydrated you might lose your way back to your starting point. If you came on those few days that it is raining here, you might get stuck in the middle of a valley under floods, which can easily cost you with your life. Therefore, safety is above all, and if you decide to take the adventure and see a wild beauty that the Negev can offer, don’t do it without a professional tourist guide that knows any corner in this far land.
Honestly, wherever you go in the country it’s only sand and stones, BUT to make it interesting you need to hear the stories behind the places, and for this Arthur is full of inside-out knowledge to enrich the experience in all aspects.