The 55 mile hike over forested mountains and wide open meadows, down deep canyons and along narrow trails is over. The trail led from the waves of the Mediterranean Sea to the pastoral settting of the Sea of Galilee. And what a hike! 40 times we had to cross water. (Heavy rains lashed northern Israel a few days earlier) Cattle stood their ground. Goats "stampeded". And a misstep on steep cliffs would be the end. But every minutes was an adventure: wonderful encounters with Bedouin Shepards, Druze villagers, a group of almost 500 Israeli teen scouts on an outing (hiking a short section of the trail via a spur trail connection), ond of course other trail hikers Four highways needed to be crossed, two by tunnels, two by dashing across. And then the Sea of Galilee; rains had raised the level and our final approach was made by wading down a nearly waist deep path to the new shoreline of the lowest fresh water lake in the world: 712 feet below sea level. You call it the Galilee, the Israelis call this sparkling gem Lake Kinneret. Everything I saw was a distraction: These uncaptioned photos are but a few of the best distractions: Streams to cross. Boots to dry. Crusader castles to visits. Cliffs to conquer. Clever signs to read. And multi-tasking escorts for school groups, skilled in trekking, first aid and protection. This is but a sliver of what is on the Sea to Sea Trail that leads to the Galilee and smiles as we waded to the end.
NOTE: In two or three weeks a feature travel story on this trek will appear in the Oakland Press with links to many more photos - this time captioned - of the Israel Sea to Sea Trail.
|The trail starts at the Med Sea|