Day 53: Kfar Kish to Deganiya Aleph

Day 53, April 21: Back to the trail, at Kfar Kish. Lightened pack some. Rain and deep water expected but I have no Chacos. Could suck. Time will tell. Idan really tired - I am not but my hips are sore again from the waist straps. Looks like rain but we found an awesome boat rental place by the Jordan that lets hikers stay. There's even a roof to hide from the rain under. I love finding these places.


By the time we hit the trail again, although rain was still falling, the grass was already starting to turn brown and die. I had bought my ticket home for mid-May so I could get every last minute of spring before it ended, and it appeared I wouldn't be leaving a moment too son.

Idan's tiredness was due to his diet. He isn't religious but eats kosher during Passover, as a fair number of secular Israelis do. It's a cultural tradition, and a way of identifying with their ancestors' escape from slavery. However, Passover lasts 8 days, and you simply cannot hike for that long without eating carbs, and pretty much every food with carbs is not kosher for Passover. I knew Idan's diet would end badly, and sure enough, he was visibly weaker and in much more pain than before. You can't hike on tuna and rice cakes - it's like trying to run a fire on paper scraps instead of wood.

Another gem we found: a little canoe-rental area right by the Jordan as it leaves the Sea of Galilee, not too far from Deganiya, the first kibbutz. The "Aleph," or "A" in the name indicates that there are actually two kibbutzim named Deganiya, the other being "Bet." I think they had a schism over something ideological and split, not unlike Amish churches.

We got to sleep under the roof of the boat rental place, with a view down on the river and surrounding eucalyptus groves, as the rain fell all night. We also met a really cool couple. Most Israelis, after finishing the army, go traveling somewhere - but it's always one of a set number of places where there's an established Israeli circuit. You have India, Nepal, Australia and New Zealand, and "Central and South America," and that's it. When I heard about this couple's adventure across Africa I knew they must be cool - more intrepid than most, if nothing else. They bought a car in South Africa and tried to drive as close to home as they could. Sudan got in the way (it won't allow Israelis in), but they traveled through the rest of East Africa and had a blast.


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Leaving Tabor and the Nazareth hills behind, as spring faded, taking green with it


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Cresting the hill after a long upward stretch, we caught our first glance of the gleaming blue
 Sea of Galilee
Photo by Idan Brodet


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