Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rare Flowers and Brits




I'm still aching. Terribly. It's been two days since I hiked up in the Galilee with ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association), which mostly consist of Brits and the average age, I would guess is 65. You'd think, looking at these grey-haired folks, that the hike would be a piece of cake. It's almost like hiking with the Young At Heart crowd. Well it was easy because we didn't climb down ladders or hang off cliffs, but it was a very long and winding road.

To show you just how crazy I am, I woke up at 5:00 am. Who in their right mind takes off a day of work to wake up at that ungodly hour? Me. I got the 5:30 bus and my ride fetched me in Jerusalem one hour later. We waited for the main bus carrying all the hikers for about an hour, but the wait was wonderful and gave me a chance to discover a coffee called Pannone and a raspberry ganache which yelled "butter" all the way. The weather was delightful. I got onto the bus and sat in one of the few empty seats next to a messianic Jew. Maybe he was Jewish, maybe not, but he was from Montreal and had a distinct Quebec accent, pronouncing words like "dere" instead of "there". As soon as he mentioned the "New Testament" I knew that God wanted me to meet yet another one of these people. Again and again. Never fails, eh? We had a lovely discussion but he started in on the Moslems, calling them demonic and then I switched him off. I tried explaining that not everyone interprets the Koran the way Al Qaida and other extremists do and that the Moslems I met were one of the most hospitable people around. That seemed to royally piss him off because for the duration of the hike, while we sat down for lunch, he was going on about them like "every where in the world the Moslems are causing trouble" and when we passed a burnt out part of the forest, it was "them" doing it again.

"How do you know it's Arabs" I asked him. Perhaps it was Israeli teens. Perhaps it was a careless hiker, lighting up a butt then forgetting about it, until the winds whipped up a forest fire.

We began our hike in the Biria forest and saw the ruins of an ancient first century synagogue.

People in general on that hike were so friendly, it almost felt like family. A family of Brits and a couple of stray Yanks and Canadians and maybe an Aussie, a South African or two. Hiking uphill for a while, two guys teased me with "breathing heavy, aren't we?" "Yeah but what good is it if I'm breathing heavy alone."  We hiked 18 kilometers to Rosh Pina down the mountain.

There was a rare flower which is in bloom only a couple of weeks a year and only in a few places. This was one of them.


Luckily, even though I don't hike more than once a year, I felt seasoned enough to bring my crocs which I sunk my aching feet into after the hike. And

4 comments:

Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

And?

Ahavah-Shim'on said...

and...... ????

you cant leave me hanging like that... what happened next.

I hope that man with those dreadful views about other people didn't spoil your wonderful day out...

The pics are wonderful especially the one of the mountains.. (ermm it is a mountain isn't it not a teeny hill.....

mer said...

Last time I was in Israel (less than a year ago) my planned hike was cancelled at the last minute. Next time for sure that is what I intend to do. love it when you put photos up on your blog. I look forward to your writing.........
Mer

ΕΛΛΗΝ VS CHAOS said...
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