Moonlight desert ride
Updated: Nov 13, 2022
The Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which means it is based on the moon phase. Similar calendar as the Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese and others. This calendar has a 29-30 days' months and if you do the math, it is roughly 11 days shorter than a solar calendar. A Jewish year has 353-4-5 days a year, which on average means a 29.5 days a month and a 12 months cycle, but we know the earth needs 356.25 days to complete a full circle around the sun. The Jews are compensating these ~11 days annual deficit by adding a synodic month (an extra full month) 7 times in every 19 years cycle. A bit complicated but this is how things are done for thousands of years... and it seems to work :-)
So the easy thing in all of this is to calculate when there is a full moon every month, because this happens every 29 or 30 days on the clock. And this is what we did this August and rode to the desert in an old Jeep. In fact, we were 5 +30 years old CJ's and one 50 years old Toyota FJ. We entered the desert south of the town of Arad and rode for +5 hours general direction east, down to the lowest place on earth - the Dead Sea!
The road was amazing, the moon was 85% full and gave us just enough light to drive with only parking lights on. Our route took as down on "Maale Zohar" to "Maale Yair" down to road 90, then we entered Sodom river and rode it south for about 10km until we reached our destination - Mount Sodom, at 1am. The view was stunning, the descent was very rough but not dangerous and the Sodom river was simply amazing. Because its made of salt, pottasche and other minerals, its walls are in fact white and the moon reflection made it bright and near daylight sense. The next morning we woke up to see the sun rise over the Dead Sea and started heading back north through the Amiaz plains, Mt. Komot and back to Arad.
Fly me to the moon...
Off we go...
The sun is about to set.
The fabulous 5...
Moon rises over Sodom river, priceless.
Sun rides above the Dead Sea, or is it the Golden Sea...?
We visit the desert and the Dead Sea in our 7 ans 14 day tours. This amazing Jeep tour was led by my good friend - Joy Biran, the real King of the desert...