Hikes on Mt. Carmel
The few days before I took off for Eilat to start the Shvil, I had time for an overnight trip to a spot I'd been wanting to get to - Mt. Carmel. It's an impressive mountain range that runs from the northwestern West Bank, up to its highest points on the coast, where the city of Haifa sits on its slopes. On top of the mountain, there are gorges, domes, cliffs, broad valleys, mountain meadows and forests of tangled Mediterranean vegetation. I'd never been there until this hike, but it instantly became my favorite spot in the region, and stayed in that position until I climbed Mt. Meron.
A bus took me from Nazareth straight to Haifa University, which lies at the very southern edge of Haifa's urban sprawl and next to a large forest and nature reserve. I was meeting a friend at the university, so I set up my hammock and left my gear there, leaving a note asking people to please not steal it. On returning, it was getting pretty dark, but my spot wasn't as isolated as I'd hoped - dog-walkers kept going past. Despite jimmie-rustling noises I managed to get a good night's sleep, and the next day I set off to explore a few of the huge selection of marked trails winding this way and that over the mountain range.
The forest fire a few months prior had left its mark on the mountain. Swathes of it were left orange, as
the pines had been scorched, but there were clear lines dividing burned spots from unburned
Walking through the charred forest, I occasionally saw trees with green ribbons wrapped around them, or
tributes to the firefighters who'd been killed in the disaster
Toward the end of the hike, I stumbled across the Alon Valley, which became my favorite place even within
the Carmel. It's a small valley surrounded by rolling, forested hills and filled with a grassy meadow with
occasional oak trees for shades, and ancient ruins. When in the wilderness, I'm usually itchy to be on the
move and have trouble staying in one place for long, but this is the kind of spot where I could set up camp
and stay for days
The 50mm lens I was using didn't let me capture the look of the valley, sadly
But this picture, of a different section of the valley, does a better job