University of Haifa International School Student Blog
The day after the festival in Daliat el Carmel I woke up early, my bags packed from the night before, and made my way to the parking lot to meet the rest of the group and our University Guide Avichai. It was 6:30 am that we were supposed to meet. As I rushed to get out the door I was unable to find my sun glasses, not a good thing considering we were going to be spending the next 3!!! days hiking in the upper Galilee eventually making our way to the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water! I saw Avichai at the parking lot full of enthusiasm and carrying a huge back pack. I told him that I hadn’t been able to find my sun glasses that I had so carefully placed the night before so as not to forget them. The first thing that he wanted to be sure of was that I had packed my hat and the mandatory supply of water. As I pulled my hat from my back pack, my sunglasses, that had been tucked under a sun cloth that was safety pinned to the rim of my hat, flew out from my hat (please excuse the long, complicated, illustrative sentence)! Avichai!!! Problem solved! After he checked that we all had our MANDATORY supplies (4.5 liter water, hat and shoes) we boarded the bus and were off.
The hike was called Yam el Yam or Sea to Sea. Well, as there are not any trails that go directly from the Mediterranean to the Galilee we started our hike about 20-25 miles in from the Sea. We made our way to Manot and Evron, picking up our two trail/nature guides along the way, Hanan, and Israel. Before the hike even began, as the bus was leaving, I picked up my back pack by the strap and the strap broke away from the body of the pack 😦 Unbelievable, the trip had not even begun and my pack had already broken ;( There is an upside to this story. Israel and Hanan approached me, assessing the situation. Luckily our Security/First Aid personell had some zip ties on hand. Israel attached my straps back to the pack with the zip tie and we were off, problem solved :)!!!
So we were off trecking through the forest. Given the holiday season of Sukhot we met a lot of hikers a long the way. That day was easily the most difficult of the three days! It was also very fun. We made our way along a ravine/creek in the mountains visiting an old flour mill built during the time of the crusades. We also saw an old castle that had fallen under seige by invaders from Egypt, I think they were called the Mollacks? Apparently Israel has been the site of a great many struggles for control, a historical theme no doubt! We really had a wonderful time hiking in the canyon, easily the most difficult hike of the 3 day trip! The hike ended with a 45-60 minute climb straight out of the ravine. Mind you, the whole time we were carrying our back packs, containing food clothing and 4.5 liters of water on our backs. The upside…there was an ice-cream truck waiting at the top and that night we had pizza for dinner :). Yes, that’s right! Pizza, with vegetarian options, was brought via taxi, compliments of the program organizers. At night we slept under the stars, I was probably one of the first to fall asleep. The hike that day had completely worn me out. I remember dozing off to the sound of the students talking around a camp fire.
More to come…