On the border between the Binyamin Area and the northern Dead Sea area, is the Adumim bloc. A bloc of villages spread over the old road from Jericho to Jerusalem, along the Prat River (Wadi Kelt), the river that flows all year with its amazing beauty. In the past it was used as a location for thousands of monks who abandoned their urban community life in Jerusalem, now there are less monks, but the charm remains.The villages in the area are mixed religious and secular, so that the people you’re expected to meet are welcoming, interesting and colorful.
Even though it is a desert here – it is certainly not a neglected area at the end of the world. It is very pleasant and comfortable for hikers. The level of village tourism services and infrastructure in the Adumim bloc is well developed and high quality.
There is something of everything here: Art and archeology (surprise: just in a small area we found three good museums!), food and sleep, alternative therapists, nature and scenery, horse riding tours, all-terrain vehicles, jeeps, camels and mainly – lots of creative ideas, inspiration and desert tranquility. If you want to find the heart of the desert but not go to far than a few minutes from the big city – this is the area for you.
Father of all Springs
Eyn Mabua (Fawar), spring, Prat river (Wadi Kelt)
The Prat river is all the reasons to visit this area. “The wadi”, according to the citizens of the area, is their home. The nature reserve of their childhood. The hiding-place of love, magic and longings. Flowing sweet water (not just flowing, gushing!) Every year in the heart of the desert, green foliage and reeds, and surrounded a lot of nothingness. Barren desert hills. Amazing how nothing can look so pretty.
A whole world of living, plant or matter is hidden in the river-bed, between mother nature’s folds.
Floating springs and monasteries nestled between the rocks, are modestly wondering: if no one sees me – don’t I exist?
Three active springs feed the Prat river: Eyn Prat (Fara), Eyn Mabua (Fawar) and Eyn Kelt.
All three are accessible by vehicle.
To the west is Eyn Prat –There is an entrance fee and you go in via the village of Anatot. This is the the most user-friendly site to visit. Even if you bring a group of 300 people in the boot you will still find place to sit. The site is well cared for and has picnic tables, shade, facilities and kiosk.
Eyn Kelt in the east – The access to this spring is extremely difficult, and is only suitable for 4 x 4’s. The entrance to Wadi Kelt is via the Mitzpe Jericho village.
Eyn Mabua is the medium difficulty option and our recommendation is to go here. Eyn Mabua is an oasis in the middle of the desert. A breathtaking place, compulsory site for all hikers in the area. The spring is one that beats, ie. the spring has a karstic layer coming out of chalky rock, and the water comes out from between the soft and hard layers so that sometimes the pool is empty and sometimes it is full. Got it? Nope, we haven’t. What we do understand is that one needs to check if there’s water before jumping to the pool, which is always a good idea. Pay attention: the spring water may be clear but sometimes it is polluted. There is no problem swimming in it, just don’t drink it. One can enjoy a very pleasant picnic here. Please leave the place clean. Besides the springs you can walk in the river on various routes. The SPNI people in Eyn Parat will give you advice or you can ask at the Ofra Field School (page 93). Telephone: 02-9975516. If you are with a group or a large family – you can book a guide from them too.
|Where||Next to the village of Alon. From route 1 turn south at the Kfar Adumim Junction and right in the direction of Alon, route 453. This is “the land of pursuit” where terrorists from Jordan infiltrated after the Six Day War, and here they were pursued. Don’t worry, most of them are dead now. The true enemy is the road. It is extremely windy. Drive carefully. After a kilometer and a half of descent after Alon you will see a parking bay and a SPNI sign. Park and go down the small descent by foot. The spring is in front of you|
|Why||Close by, cheap and the most beautiful in the world! Don’t miss the beating of the spring|
|When||Summer: 8:00-17:00, winter 8:00-16:00. A very annoying NPA guard will do his best to take the fun out of your stay and tell you stuff. Ignore him. ON festivals and holidays packed full of people. In the summer, bathing in the cool water is wonderful|
|Cost||Nada! Zero!Nil! Nothing! (for now)|