Sunday, April 8, 2007

Galil getaway

Throwing good sense to the wind and spurning my own advice to stay close to the rooftop during the Pessah holiday, we set out on Friday with the rest of am yisrael to the Galil. The roads were full but what can you do? You go hiking when you have a holiday - right? At the height of spring and on the cusp of summer the Galil is ablaze with life and colour. The flowering clil ha-choresh tree stands out everywhere.

The plan was to start with a hike down our beloved Nahal Amud (the wadi) which we had explored so often when we lived in Tzfat the 80s. But, pushed for time, instead of taking the route below Tzfat we chose the official entrance at Kfar Shamai where we encountered a ticket office, a very full car park and hordes of tired looking families. The wadi, once our symbol of natural freedom, had been bureacratised! Gritting our teeth, we turned down repeated offers to join the Park Authority's membership club and sullenly promised to be back within two hours (so that they could close the gates to the car park!). Then began the descent down the twisting, rocky path, evading as best we could the procession of wailing tots, grumpy teens and frazzled parents schlepping up to the top.

It was worth it though. At the bottom, along the stream bed, the crowds thinned out considerably. Soon the calming effect of the rich and varied foliage and the soothing pichpuch of water trickling over the little rapids began to kick in and we were transported again into the wadi's magical kingdom.

This is one of the old water channels that served the wool mills for which this area was once famous.

We clambered down a steep and muddy path to reach the stream itself, washed our weary feet in its sparkling cool water and communed with nature amidst the forest canopy.

On closer inspection there was a lot going on in the shallow pools. These water striders were.... water striding for example. Click the pic below and you'll see them.

The next day we explored the lovely Nahal Dishon with M & J and a lot of other people. These Arab girls in an oak tree were also out for a Pessah picnic with their family.

To end a perfect getaway (thanks M, J and Shraga) we enjoyed a delicious and completely unkosher lunch at a restaurant at the lovely Circassian village of Reihaniya ( before joining the traffic back to the big city.

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