Friday, October 15, 2010

On the edge of Machtesh Ramon

The Visitors' Center (in the above picture) located on the very edge of the Ramon Crater is the starting point to almost everything concerning this huge, unspoiled, geologically fascinating area (viewing, hiking, rappeling , camping, exploring, info regarding status of trails, etc..).

There seems to be a slightly embarassing hygienic and estethic problem at the spot: men tend to urinate near the structure ignoring the nearby toilets and the warning sign which says the delinquent will be punished. (See the picture below, a combo of two pictures: 1. man in "action" 2. the warning sign and the ugly brown urine stain.).

It's possible to get to the top of the rocky hill where the Visitors Complex stands, by road or by climbing stairs. I went up and down by both ways and enjoyed it. It's a bit windy up there; one's hat/cap could be easily carried away by the light wind. A plane from a nearby military base flying low, scarred the bejesus out of me ( I suppose this kind of low flight is not uncommon here).

A few meters from the Visitors' Center , there's a balcony which hangs above the crater offering the best panoramic view of the crater. The floor of the balcony is made of wood so I was kind of afraid to step on it ( trauma of the collapse of the wooden bridge - see my post from July 15 "The Fatal Bridge and Fungus"). I did it in the end , and the reward was a breathtaking view of the crater.

Please watch my musical slideshow with views from the edge of the crater! ( I couldn't upload it from my blog editor , so I had to learn how to use the method of uploading on Youtube, and then embed the code in my blog). Enjoy !


  1. Well shock my modesty! I just can't imagine why it is more convent to relieve oneself in public instead of using the facilities. Men can be so territorial! Heeehehe!!

    The building and the landscape is just beautiful. You always bring the most interesting stories to my little world sweetie!!!

    God Bless and have an amazing day dear Duta!!!

  2. Oh, Oh, the way I truly enjoyed the video...super job! :o)

  3. I love your video. I am impressed! What a fun adventure. Do you think they urinate there because of the sign, just to show them they can. People can be so insensitive. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. It is fun to learn about other areas of the world.
    until next time... nel

  4. Wow, what an amazing place!


  5. DUTA:

    If you come to India, you will be shocked out of your wits. You will find men urinating and spitting everywhere. We are so used to seeing it that we are rendered passive on finding such abominable practice. So, when you mentioned about the urinating, I wasn't surprised, except for the fact that I thought it happened only in India.

    I loved the video. If I may ask, what music have you used? It is wonderful on the ear.

    A happy and joyous weekend to you :)

    Joy always,

  6. Wonderful post!
    Please have a great weekend!
    Regards from Romania!

  7. I hate to see irresponsible people who pee wherever they just want! Sigh..

    That's a very good documentation of your travel. I enjoyed your video too, I must say it's a job well done. By the way, my youngest brother's name is Ramon :-)

  8. This was a great lesson and a great video DUTA, you always enlighten and entertain. It is so good to have you back!

    I googled this crater and didn't find many pictures that were as good as yours. The view from the balcony was amazing. I can see why you would be scared to venture out on it, but so glad you did.

    It seems odd to see so much land without trees, grass, cars, people! We don't get to see much of that in California.

    Thanks for sharing Duta!

  9. Nezzy,

    I would like to think that this sort of behavior happens only when there's a queue at the toilets, and the man has a real urgency, but I'm not sure this is the case.
    Thank you for liking my video.


    I'm glad you do.
    No, I don't think the sign causes men to behave insensitively.(By the way, it's in hebrew only - this may imply it's the locals that are usually the delinquents) Anyway, I'm upset by this shameless phenomenon.


    Amazing indeed. Glad to hear from you.

    Susan Deborah,

    The music on the video is guitar music by Silvestre Fonseca. I mentioned this on the last slide.

    As for the practice of spitting and peeing in public places, it's not specific to any particular country. As you said, one sees it everywhere.

    Hello Romania! Thank you Wind for your comment. Have a great weekend too!


    Your brother has a lovely name.
    Thank you for your kind words on my post and video.

  10. I think a little fan blowing outwards from the rocks and perhaps a mirror would solve the urination problem (which perhaps is a male cultish know, like " piss on this, I'm hot and tired of touring" Whatever! Great photos and creative slide show, loved it! A long, long way from the Ottawa Valley! Have a great weekend Duta

  11. we call paths that tread across lawns (or wherever) ignoring sidewalks and or signs, "demand paths". And perhaps the public urinating could be solved with the construction of a washroom outside the visitor's centre...especially if there's a fee to enter?

  12. Duta
    Looks like you had a very nice holiday. That sure is a large hole in mother earth. My question is where do folks get their water as it looks very barren. My favorite was the half head statue. Peace

  13. Please have a wonderful weekend!
    Best regards!

  14. Your musical slide show with views from the edge of the crater is just excellent! Congratulations. Hugs

  15. Alicia,

    Oh, my! You are a thorough person. I'm impressed by your googling this crater.
    Thanks a lot for the compliments you've bestowed upon me.


    There are toilets in the area of the cafeteria; I suppose it's sometimes crowded there, so an addition of a washroom outside the building could indeed solve the problem.
    Thanks for your nice comments.

    Lady Di Tn,
    Water is a problem in the whole country. We used to buy water from Turkey, but I'm not sure about it anymore, as the relationship with this muslim country has greatly deteriorated.

    Anyway, in this arid area, there are some streams and rivulets that overflow in winter time causing floods. Water is then collected somehow and used in irrigation.

    The statue is indeed beautiful. Sorry about its half head.


    Hi Wind. A wonderful weekend to you too!

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    You've made my day with your comment. Thank you.

  16. Oh Duta, you kicked up loads of interesting thoughts for me: Men urinating - I find it an endless fascination that they pee up everything! The crater: wow, but that looks so bleak to me. No green anywhere. But then I am also intrigued by the sense of vastness, of being very tiny in comparison to that landscape. I won't ever physically visit this place, but you brought it alive to me so I feel familiar with it even so. And I think you are so clever to do that slideshow on Youtube. I am going to try and have a go at doing something with Youtube but keep putting it off, but I will follow in your footsteps and try. Great post, as ever.

  17. Duta,

    Beautiful place, however, I am stuck by how everything is so monochromatic. It must be very hot in the summer there.

    Too bad the mem who do this don't care that they are being disrespectful not only to the place but to the people who have to walk by that urine stained discussing part. It is plain laziness and should not be tolerated!

  18. Wow, Duta, I'm so proud of you for stepping out onto that balcony! What a reward you had. And because of that, we got one, too.

    Really enjoyed this post, and the video. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this!

  19. Interesting post, Duta. I agree with those who noted the monochrome nature of the area and lack of vegetation; it is beautiful but very different from what I am used to. I expect it is gorgeous at sunrise or sunset!
    About those unruly men: I wonder if this behavior is like animals leaving their "mark" to tell others of the species they have been at the place...
    Thanks for coming by, I'm always glad to see a comment from you!

  20. Vera,

    So you call men urinating on everything - an endless fascination. Very original of you, I must say.

    Yes, the vastness of the crater and the desert does something to our senses.

    Sooner or later, you'll learn to work with Youtube and you'll enjoy it.


    It is very hot there, but dry, not humid (humidity is the worst condition).

    Indeed, men's behavior is one of disrespect, shamelessness, laziness. I agree with you that this should not be tolerated.


    Thank you for your kind words.
    I think they should reinforce the wooden floor of the balcony with some stronger material. After all, thousands of visitors a year step on it.

  21. Man in action... ! You should post a better image of him and then send him a copy.

    About Machtesh Ramon: seems to be a very interesting place. I've read more about it on wikipedia.

  22. That video was lovely...! And I love the music. You know, that sand is my favorite color. I had my apartment re-painted not long ago and you know what color I chose? "Desert sand". Funny, hey?

    I rather like the light and shadow on the monochromatic area. I think it's extremely beautiful.

  23. Dimple,

    Yes, it is different, and it is this difference that makes it so interesting. You could do wonderful things with your magic camera there.


    Good idea, but the man is a stranger and I've got no address to send to. Thanks for reading about the Ramon crater in the Wikipedia.


    Desert sand color? I love it. I'm sure your appartment looks lovely painted in this color.

  24. Duta,I loved the video,what amazing scenery,and the music was lovely.I don't know if I could have stood on that balcony,I do not like hight's,I prefer solid ground under my feet.
    Thank you for leaving the comment on my blog,I am much better now and back to normal,whatever that is.!!I appreciate the good wishes.Carolyn.

  25. matron,

    You're welcome. Glad to hear you're better.
    Thank you for your kind words on the video.