First week on the trail was hard. No, difficult. Well actually pretty daunting & exhausting. 😏
Started by hiking Har Shlomo outside Eilat by mistake (!) - first with hand-over-hand rock climbing - with a 24-kilo pack mind u - and then along ridges to Har Yeroham with trails about 20cm wide, no kidding, with cliff on the right and sheer fall of 50 meters to the other. Thought 'okay, this is it, fine, I"ll just sleep here & 2moro they'll send 669 to come rescue me...'. But m
2nd week on the Trail; if the first was "hard", how to describe the second?
Hiking through and then up the side of מכתש רמון, hiking up חוד עקב only to find the cliff side down impassable (for a 51-yr-old with a 24 kilo pack, on his own & without a death wish) so going all the way back to עין עקב as the sun sets & hiking all the way around the mountain, a 10-km detour, to reach the night camp...
And all this before the impossibly tortuous, unbelievably frightening כרבולת ov
This was a week full of transitions, of different sorts. From the deep descents and ascents of the south to the more (relatively) gentle rolling hills of the center; from desert(s) to a savannah-like climate; from solitude to more social interaction; from desperation to hope. (Well, not really, but almost....) 😏 And in other ways, too.
The week started with the dramatic (even terrifying) descent of מעלה פלמ״ח (Maale Palmach), and then a stunningly beautiful walk down נחל חת
Well… Week four was somewhat surreal. I spent the week basically circumnavigating around my hometown of Beit Shemesh – constantly and tantalizingly within 5 to 20 minutes' drive from home. My bed! My shower! My family! My friends! (Who are, also and in all ways, family....). It all called to me.
But also - I found it fascinating that so near to home, there is so much I had never explored, in 20 years of living in this area and thirty in the country. Just proves the old clich
It's been an incredible week, ending with a really uplifting (and once again, unusual) Shabbat.
Week 5 was another week of transition - as u can imagine if u've followed the last four. 😏
Purim was great fun, and certainly unique. I remained in the forest near Shaar HaGai on Motzei Shabbat - and I can only say how grateful I am for good friends. Especially those who understood why I didn't want to come home in the middle of doing the trail, and so schlepped into the forest
Six weeks... & counting.
At this point I really am counting. Counting the number of people who have been so very wonderfully warm and welcoming to me on the trail. Counting the number of times I've asked myself "what are you doing?". Counting the kilometers I've walked; and definitely counting the kilometers I've left to go.
And in the simple sense of the phrase, counting the days till I can walk in the door and say "I'm home".
The North – the upper Galil and moving into t