Day 44: ha-Nezirim Mill to Zippori Forest

Day 44, April 12: Rainy morning, lost trail twice. Nice walking otherwise, though some big hills. First glimpse of Nazareth! Excited. Got to Zippori and camping in forest closer to Mashhad. Saw 2 bulls and did a pretty big bushwhacking detour out of a wadi to avoid one.


Cresting a hill and seeing the Nazareth skyline (such as it is) on a faraway hilltop made me feel like I was coming home after a long time. It had basically become my home away from home. On this night, camping in the woods along the Jesus Trail, we saw two kids riding a bike down a forest road, and then a while later, two more kids asking if we'd seen them. Apparently the first two had stolen the bike! I don't know if its rightful owners ever found it.

On this day, we passed the tomb of a medieval rabbi, Yehuda ha-Nasi, who I hear was pretty hot stuff as rabbis go. There was a Hasidic family having a barbeque there, and they offered us meat, which I consumed with gusto. Idan, who was vegetarian, seemed to find some amusement in telling me I should eat all of the huge amount of meat in order not to seem rude. According to him, this particular Hasidic guy belonged to a sect that really loves smoking weed. Stranger things have happened...

Free-roaming bulls are all over the place there. I say it's ridiculous that hiking paths are routed through places where bulls graze, but what do I know. I have a healthy fear of cows as it is - they may not be aggressive, but they could easily kill me if they wanted, and I have been chased by one. Bulls I just take long, long detours to avoid at all costs. Whenever walking through a herd of cows, I would keep looking around like a nervous rodent for any sign of balls, but usually it was the huge, muscular shape of the bull's shoulders that I would spot first.


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