When people have asked Sam and me what we did in Eilat, the answer that always pops out is, "What didn't we do?" On Tuesday, we went to talk to the woman at the attractions desk in the hotel lobby, and found an amazing deal of parasailing, tubing, kayaking and banana boating, all for only 180 NIS. SO that's what we did.
The banana boat was first. For those in the dark, a banana boat is actually a very phallic rubber floaty thingy attached to a boat by a long rope. There are handles spaced out evenly on top, and places to rest your feet on each side. It fits seven or eight people, sitting one behind the other. The boat pulls the floaty thingy, a.k.a. banana, and you try not to slide off. We were deliberately flipped over a couple of times, which was great. The funniest part of being flipped turned out to be this Israeli chick who was completely incapable of pulling herself back onto the banana and kept sliding back into the water.
Then we went tubing. Now, I had been tubing before, back in my summercamp days. In the Wisconsin Dells, tubing meant sitting in a tube and being pulled by a very fast boat. In Eilat, tubing means lying on your stomach (two people at a time) on a raft-type device, holding on for dear life while a maniac behind the wheel of the boat tries to see how far you can fly off and how hard you can smack the water when you land. I was laughing and praying and cursing the driver simultaneously. It was awesome.
Then came the parasailing. At this point, I have to give Sam major kudos for agreeing to try this, because he hates heights. It was phenomenal. You look down at the water beneath you, and it just looks so impossibly blue, and the sun makes the surface sparkle with golden shimmers. If you tip your head back and close your eyes, you feel like you're flying.
We took a break for lunch because I needed refueling, and walked around for a bit before we went kayaking. We both got in the same kayak, and rowed ourselves out a little bit, and then we let ourselves drift. It was so peaceful. I can't tell you what Sam was thinking, but I don't know that I was thinking much of anything, and it's a rare moment when my brain shuts off during waking hours. I just laid back in the kayak and listened to the water and the wind and completely relaxed. It was bliss.
Wednesday morning we checked out of the hotel room, and then I went to the Marine Park by myself so that Sam could get some work done. I loved it. I spent over an hour in the underwater observatory taking pictures of fish. I've never seen so many different types of fish before, or imagined that they could be so colorful. I loved it. After communing with the fishies, I met up with Sam again and we went back to Tel Aviv for the last few days of the trip. More to come...