Israel isn’t the biggest country; it’s even tiny compared to U.S. States but Israel is extremely travel-able. Israel fits into California more than 18 times! They say you can drive from one side of Israel to the other (West to East) in 45 minutes, but why drive when you can hike?
Last week, three friends and I embarked on the Sea to Sea hike, a 85km journey from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee (the Kinerret in Tiberius). I can honestly say this was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done; diverse landscape every day, tons of blooming flowers and nature galore!
The hike itself was about medium difficulty but, as always with backpacking, the difficult part is carrying four days of food and a days worth of water on tie back with all the other camping gear. We had iodine tablets which allowed us to carry less water weight and refill along the way which definitely helped.
Here is a basic overview of the trip.
The first night we took a train from Tel Aviv to Nahariya and got a cab to Tel Akziv where we camped on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In the morning we began the ~20km hike for the day. Within the first 30 minutes we found ourselves waking along a banana orchard with ripe bananas bunches resting on the ground begging us to eat them. Almost immediately after we stocked up on bananas we were greeted by an avocado grove and found some fresh, delicious avocados on the ground to add to our arsenal of supplies for 4 days. Then we walked, and walked and walked until eventually we were past the point that you could take a car to on the hikers trail. About halfway through the day we saw a stone castle up on a cliff. We hid our packs in some bushes and made the climb up. After a few more hours of hiking we made it to the top of a hill with enough sunlight to gather firewood, set up camp and make a delicious couscous dinner. We were lulled to sleep by the soothing sound of semiautomatic gunfire in the distance (either an IDF training exercise or coming from Lebanon) .
The second day we experienced different terrain as we crossed through farms and open green fields. A little more than halfway through the day we found a natural spring to refill our water and take a quick swim in. After another few hours we approached the camping destination for the night. The third and fourth day were more long treks with the occasional river crossing, spring to swim in and beautiful nature all around. Finally, on the last day we made it to the Sea of Galilee and our journey was complete; we had walked from the Mediterranean Sea to the Kinerret.
Needless to say, my feet were sufficiently sore by the end of the trip. I had brought my Choco’s hiking sandals along but had not worn them enough prior to the trip so suffered some pretty gnarly blisters.
I was reading a blog post before I left, “8 STEPS TO BECOME A BADASS DAY HIKER“, and it said the best cool down after a multi-day hike is another hike! And that is exactly what I did, my Career Israel Group had a 3 day trip to the Negev planned with 4 hour hikes to start off the first 2 days.