Our journey home started inauspiciously when we packed up at the hotel and rode to the location shown on the Shlomo (car rental) website for their Eilat branch, only to discover a vacant lot.  Jodi was smart enough to figure they had to be somewhere by the airport, so we rode over that way and sure enough found it. Great attention to detail, Shlomo! Misdirecting your customers must cut down on the workload.

Picking up the rental car proved incredibly tedious, with lots of waiting around for whatever reason, then eventually I was lead out back to the parking garage and handed over the keys to the car.  I told the guy I needed to go around to the front to pick up my wife and our gear and he told me I could park there no problem, but he didn’t bother to tell me how to get there. I figured I would just drive around the block, but the roads weren’t organized that way and I promptly got lost. I probably had 5km on the car by the time I finally found my way there.

We spent the day driving north up to and along the Dead Sea, then west through Jerusalem and on to Tel Aviv. Coming into Jerusalem from the east there is a split just after the security checkpoint which takes you around Jerusalem. Unfortunately we missed it and ended up in central Jerusalem during the afternoon rush hour. It took forever to get through that and back onto Rt 1, so it was dark when we reached Tel Aviv and had to navigate to our hotel.

The next day we were up at 3:30 and on the road by 4:00. I dropped Jodi and the bikes and panniers at the airport, then headed to the drop-off location for the rental car. Luckily I had the correct address for this location and navigated my way there with the GPS.  Again the paperwork and check-in took a ridiculously long time, then the driver for the airport shuttle was more interested in sitting around smoking cigarettes than doing his job, and kept delaying until I finally yelled at him and he finally drove me to the airport.

There is lots of security at the airport and we had our passports examined multiple times and were questioned several times. We had to pay extra for the bikes and that entailed a trip to another desk for that transaction, then back to the check-in counter for boarding passes, then another detour to the oversize luggage area, so checking in took some time. Finally we had run the gauntlet and all we had left to do was endure our flights. For this return journey we were on a BA ticket but the second flight, from London to Boston, was on American. The BA flights were far superior to AA; more leg room, better food, and much better service. Finally though, we arrived in Boston to a cold fall rain, and after collecting our luggage and going through customs, we emerged from the terminal to find Jodi’s dad sitting right there with the car waiting for us. Thanks Mel!