Sunday 19 January 2014

Park Golda - far more than a place to stretch your legs

Driving in the Negev can be an amazing experience, but sometimes you need a break and somewhere to stretch your legs. Where better than Park Golda, a JNF project named after the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Golda Meir and conveniently located close to Route 40, as you drive south from Beersheva. 
It is no accident that this park was created near Kibbutz Revivim, which was established as an outpost in 1943, on the site of a Turkish railway station and British army camp. They all knew of the sweet water  well that existed here. One of Kibbutz Revivim’s founding members was Golda Meir’s daughter, so she spent a lot of time there, becoming her second home. Park Golda, created in her memory, provides a wonderful recreational site in the Negev as well as rehabilitating an old quarry that marred the impressive desert landscape. It also has started to have an important economic impact for Negev residents, as it now attracts many visitors from all parts of the country.

Despite the very arid climate of the region, with a very short rainy season, there are no dry areas in the park as the Revivim River, a seasonal stream, cuts through the park, and in especially rainy years a lake forms. If and when the groundwater level rises, it also fills the wells in the area of the park. The lake is also filled by the water that rinses the filters of the nearby Neve Midbar Baths. Bathing is not recommended!

Near the lake are extensive lawns, waterways and picnic areas, and play and sports facilities for children plus a new mountain bike track. A short but brisk climb from the lakeside will take you to the Tali lookout point, with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Park Golda is directly off Route 222, about 1 mile from its junction with Route 40, midway between Beersheva and Sde Boker.

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