Day 45: Zippori Forest to Gazit Junction

Day 45, April 13: Idan got sick. I'm not sure if he's hiked more than 5 days in a row since we left the desert. Nice view from Nazareth Illit. Up and down Tabor - up in 30 minutes from visitors' center. Back in Nazareth - it's nice and feels like I haven't been away that long.

I got ahead of Idan, took some really beautiful pictures of Cana and the valley below, and then caught up with him and found out he'd started puking for reasons unknown, so he took off back to Ra'anana. Although we were hiking through Nazareth Illit, I wanted to finish up nearby Mt. Tabor before taking my week-long trail break in Nazareth. I had climbed Tabor with a full pack twice before. The first time it seemed like the longest, most brutal climb imaginable. The second, it was still nasty. This time, what with experience and me being in better shape, it just flew by. This time I didn't camp on top, but hurried down the other side (a dangerous idea, as I've often slipped when hiking down that mountain) and caught a hitch back to Nazareth.

Tabor loomed in the distance beyond Ein Mahel, summoning me to try my endurance against its
 steep, rocky slopes one last time

From the hills above Nazareth, you can see the Mediterranean on a clear day. Such days get less and 
less common as spring drags on into hazy summer

The hills of the Galilee, where Jesus may have walked and I definitely walked, a lot

The Tur'aan valley, which I rode through on many buses. The town at the base of the mountain is 
Tur'aan, and on top of the mountain is a watchtower with an absolutely incredible view of the whole 
Galilee. I only discovered it at the very end of the trip, sadly. I think it would genuinely be worth
 the day or so detour off the Israel Trail that would be required to hike to it and back

Self-portrait after summitting Tabor in record time. I was way sweatier than I look

The Church of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor
Photo by Dave Landis

the shadow of the mountain at sunset
Mt. Tabor casts its evening shadow over the plains approaching the Jordan Valley. The photo is from 
May 2010, on my first backpacking trip ever - I hiked from Nazareth to Tabor to camp

view off mt. tabor, looking northwest
A view from the top of Tabor

greek transfiguration church
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration (the other one is Catholic). At most locations 
of Biblical stories, the Catholics and Orthodox each have their own church dedicated to the event

olive grove near the greek orthodox church of the transfiguration
Olive groves near the Orthodox church. I realize I don't have many pictures of the olive tree, the
 region's most iconic piece of vegetation, the source of many farmers' livelihoods, and the unofficial 
national symbol of Palestine

In the Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, an illustration of one of my favorite Bible stories, 
which took place on another mountain some 30 km to the west

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