Well, the desert isn't just sand, but the landscape is really amazing. Driving down from Jerusalem (yes, there's a story there. My drive could never be that simple...) you can see the country go from green, to less green, to brownish trees, to bushes, to nothing. And then all of the sudden, just past Be'er Sheva, you're in the desert. I noticed a lot of Camel Crossing signs, and some that said "Beware of camels on the road side" none of which I thought I'd be able to appropriate (yes, there was thought put into the possibility). There weren't so many camels though. I think that may have to do with the signs interspersed with the camel signs that announced the presence of firing ranges.
I passed many, many Bedouin encampments. I think the word "shanty" is the best way to describe their housing. Not quite a tent, but definitely not a stable-looking structure. I would love to know how they live out there.
I saw a lot of bugs over the weekend, and was bitten by a select few. There were lots of lizards of various ilk, and we saw a huge spider about the size of the palm of my hand that was upside down on the path on the way to the pool. I thought about poking it with a stick to see if it was alive, but then decided that if it was alive, I really didn't want to know what it looked like right-side up. There were also strange looking beetles, and other cricket/praying mantis like things that were just really big. Like maybe some of the radiation from Dimona got to them or something.
The heat wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We all went up to the pool on Saturday afternoon. It was on a hill, and when you looked around, all you saw was desert. And in the shade, it was actually pretty cool.