Saturday (4/31) - Second day of Yam L'Yam – “The Hard Day=LIES”
Wake up was 4:30 by Naomi. Jessica was already up looking at the stars? Some people were not ready to wake up that early (Rachel, Michal, among others). It is really hard to wake up in middle of the night. Some nights on YC we hadn’t gone to bed that early. We decided to snooze for about a ½ hour and then get up. Naomi wasn’t too happy about that. Call us crazy, but we wanted to get out of bed when the stars weren’t out.
We finally got up, rolled up sleeping bags, went to the bathroom, packed up and headed out. Back down the driveway, and up the hill that we stopped at yesterday, it was a bitch of a road/mountain. Jessica would be scared to drive down (in a car) the moun..Hill. So we were told by Yael, the hike specialist, that we had to stop in the town that we were at the previous night b/c we were entering Arab towns and couldn’t sleep there. If she meant a Jewish Religious Moshav, then she was right. So we walked a couple of km to the end of the “Arab?” area and changed from our sweats to shorts at a bus stop. We headed right and up another hill. Katie helped Rachel go faster up this hill. (It was still early morning, and still kind of sluggish). Singing and camp chants began. Rachel of course was clueless to these chants. We entered the Moshav and saw a guy walking to Shacharit services with a talit on—kind of a give away that it wasn’t Arab. We wanted to take a picture, but wait its Shabbat. So we walked through the Moshav and back down the mountain. We crossed a road that had a bunch of motorcycles racing. We started to walk up that hill/mtn and then we turned back down to go on the jeep path. We found the Green Marker!!! Yayayay! We may have taken a picture.
We walked for a bit and then stopped for breakfast. Rachel had a false alarm about her period. Other people changed from sweats. We had peanut butter sandwiches. The blister girls complained and changed their bandages. And Rachel started walking. The others caught up. It was a beautiful path. Green overgrown. There was an abundance of either boar or cow poo. Jessica and I didn’t want to keep stopping b/c it was harder to stop and then keep going than to just keep going. We came to some old well or watering thing where we relaxed for a little bit. We tried to keep going but there were COWS in our way. We didn’t know what to do. They were literally blocking our path. The mama was nursing her baby where we wanted to go. There was nothing to do but wait for them pass. We couldn’t mess with them, they were wild, they had horns on themselves. We joked about calling Yotam, scout who lives on kibbutz and works in the Refet, but didn’t. Eventually the mamma cow followed the baby that had followed the others and we were allowed to pass. The path continued to be picturesque, filled with more rivers and families with their kids on their shoulders and backs. We had packs on our bags but they had children. Jessica had to crouch under branches b/c her pack was too big.
This path eventually ended, instead of continuing on the path that would take us to Mt. Meron we were going to take a road around to a smaller mountain. We walked along a road. Jessica peed in the open and a car was coming but Monica stopped the car for confirmation of directions. And Naomi came as Jessica was pulling up her pants. We turned right, from the shade that we had under the bus of tourists. This was another bitch of a road. We met some bicyclists that were cheering us on. Not fair to see old men just gliding down the mountain as we were going in the opposite direction. We got to the point where we would turn to another path that was really just an olive grove. But we had to stop b/c Michal was worried about her ankle and blisters. We debated for a bit. Eventually she sucked it up, but not in a negative way and we continued down this small hill to the olive grove. We weren’t sure which side of the riverbed that divided the olive grove in two to walk on. We were on the right, then the left, when we went back to the right, climbed the embankment and then just stuck to the right. We hopped a fence (some walked on Katie’s back, she down on all fours—stop being a wannabe cheerleader) Jessica and Rachel climbed down the fence and continued on our way. We weren’t 100% sure which way we should go b/c the path kind of disappeared. Monica wanted to go up this hill so she did to look for a marker. Elana kept exploring the area where we were. We decided to go up the hill. Joked that that was the hard part of the day. We walked up the hill and then we turned left to go back down hill. Jessica doesn’t like going down hill because that cancels out the uphill that we just did, and that part was hard. We walked along this path that wound through different fields and orchards eventually leading us to a fork in the path. We were looking for the blue trail but couldn’t find it. So we were going to go down this one path b/c it looked like what we wanted the path that we needed to look down. Everyone was bitching. So Rachel started to walk down and nicely (cursingly) told everyone to come along. We met a farm hand who was mowing? the field or something. We asked him if this was the path, who told us no. We walked back up that hill and continued on the hill that we were just on. We came to another turn off and dropped our bags until we could figure out what to do. Another car came along and we had to wave it down. He told us that this was the path that we wanted. Some of us wanted to have lunch then and there while others wanted to keep walking to a shady part. We ended up going to the shade. We joked that the fish farm was the Kineret and we could go home now. We started on our peanut butter sandwiches, nuts, and dried fruit. But first we had to pick out the mold of our bread. Its amazing how once we got food into our bodies our moods changed dramatically. We rested for a bit. The Arabs all waved at us, the car that gave us directions kept passing us. Monica smoked her tuna. (All directions were done in hebrew).
We were ready to start our next bitch of a climb. A bit of the way up Rachel and Judith needed the bathroom (we didn’t want to go in the grove). We did what we needed but then a car was coming!!! Oh no! We continued on our 5 km of steepness, when we saw a red car coming down the road dragging something behind it. At first we couldn’t to make it out, and when we did we wish that we didn’t see it. The car was dragging a dog. It was being dragged by its neck down this unpaved road. There was a child in the car. It was disgusting. It also broke our newfound impression of Arabs. We all regrouped under some shade where Naomi and others had a little break down. The dog just broke everything that was built up in all of us. We rested. Katie kept asking if this was the snake path. Elana took out her map and informed us that we were now on the snake path. Katie: is what we just did the snake path or whats coming up the snake path? But snake paths go down. Everyone: mad at Katie. We continued UP (yes Katie, some snake paths do go up, if we were walking down, the path would go down) the snake path. At every turn, Rachel would stop, catch her breath and look back, out over the Orchards, and Galilee. We got to the top!!!!!! It was then flat at the top. Yeah שביל ישראל, Israel Trail—orange, blue and white! Rachel had promised everyone chocolate at the top. We saw a memorial for a Druse soldier that had died due to terrorism. We couldn’t eat the chocolate at the memorial so we kept walking for a bit and then rested beneath the shade by this house that had what we think is the Druse flag and an Israeli flag. We ate the melted, practically liquid chocolate. Went to the bathroom and began down Israel Trail. Monica knew that Rachel hates going down hill—its harder on knees, more dangerous and just scary. Needless to say Monica was excited to see Rachel cry. This wasn’t a scary downhill—wait for tomorrow. And was disappointed when Rachel didn’t cry. Jessica and Judith’s feet were burning—blisters—so they waddled down the mountain. We came to some kind of watering hole where we asked an Arab family to take a picture of us. It was a breathtaking view over the Galilee. People went to the bathroom and we continued down. We came to some kind of rock/stone structure that had a lot of graffiti, including a Na Nach…. So we knew that Jews were around. A man and his wife were going for a late Shabbat walk when Jessica was peeing. We asked them if we were on the right path. They said yes. This was in English. The woman asked her husband, in Hebrew, if they should invite us over for the night, he said no. Jessica wasn’t ready to pee but Rachel kept telling her to do so. Jessica: they are just behind the rock. Rachel: just do it. They left, they are going up the hill. Jessica: they are going to turn around. And they turn around. We continue down. Where we met these two Israeli girls, probably about early twenties. We continued along the path but had to keep waiting for the blister girls. We came to some kind of cement foundation and waited for the girls. When the Israeli girls passed us, Rachel asked them about the foundation—its going to be a bridge. They offered us water, and informed us that the area that we were coming upon is Charadi. We were all in shorts. It wasn’t going to be good. The girls offered us water in the town b/c apparently there wasn’t any at the campsite that we were planning on staying at that was pretty close by. So Katie and Monica put sweats on, Rachel unloaded her back pack and they took all of the empty water bottles, and camelbacks up a hill to town. They told us that it would be about 20 mins each way. We expected them to be gone for almost a hour, it took them about 40ish mins. Rachel had to repack her whole backpack, which people bitched about. But hey, I offered my back pack, so shut up!!! We started walking and eventually we came to the campsite.
A few of us opened up our sleeping bags in the sun to just get them toasty and finish drying. Jessica and I really needed to pee so we did so. A lot of families were there and they were packing up. We got there just in the nick of time. A family offered Rachel pita and bread, which she quickly accepted. They also offered water but we had just refilled and we were set. Monica and Naomi were scouting for the perfect spot to sleep when they came upon some cheese and tahina/curry stuff. We settled upon a spot and put our stuff down. We then devoured the tahina, challah, pita, and cheese. We were malicious and it was delicious. Hahahahahah. Stam. We set up our sleeping bags and got ready for bed when this guy came over asking if he could take the rocks that we had for a fire. We got to talking and he heard about our plan and then gave his two sense. A) that we wouldn’t be able to do the rest in one day B) we should make a campfire and C) we were crazy. He maps out our best way to go and gives us advice about the trip. Rachel asks him how much he thinks her pack ways, he thinks about 20 lbs., she was wondering the whole trip about how much it weighed. He was doing Israel Trail with his two friends in memory of his friends that died during the TWO wars that he has fought in – Lebanon and Gaza. Since the Israel Trail travels through Arad, they have to call us when they are there and we will go be a welcome wagon for them.
Another important detail to add are Jessica’s blister. There is a momma, papa, and baby blister. The papa was really hurting me and didn’t fit in my shoe and you could see it when I was wearing my wool socks. It was time for him to leave us. So we had some surgery and it popped. He was really watery, barely any skin. Enough water to fill the kineret. Wait, we got to the kineret! The momma was a bit smaller and the skin wasn’t as loose but also needed an abortion. Katie videotaped this surgery. She didn’t explode like the papa but the water came out. The baby looked a little bloody and wasn’t as popable as the mamma and the papa was so we let it be.
It was a very sweaty day…Jessica was drenched. Rachel goes I’m not sweaty enough, I need to drink more water—5 liters not enough? Its amazing how you don’t feel that hot because you are sweating so damn much.