Posted by David on
December 22, 2008
The date has been changed to March 1st. The itinerary will be the same, just the dates have changed. So if you plan on meeting me somewhere on the way please be in touch with me before. See you all on the trail.
For those of you interested in the basic itinerary on the Israel National Trail here it is. Changes are inevitable due to weather and other unforeseeable incidents. So bust out your maps and see where we will be.
Day One Feb 15th: Eilat to Natafim. 14km This is mostly an uphill hike. A total of a 1000m. ( 3,000 ft ) climb.
Day Two Feb 16th: Netafim to Ma’ale Amram 15km. Again it’s a bumpy ride. Not as hard as yesterday and still short as my body will need to adjust to the conditions.
Day Three Feb 17th: Ma’ale Amram to Be’er Ora. 18km. A beautiful hike that will pass by the amazing Amram pillars.
Day Four Feb 18th: Be’er Ora to Elifaz. 17km. Elifaz is the beginning of Timna Park.
Day Five Feb 19th: Repelling and hiking in Timna Park. Visiting ancient copper mines from the time of King Solomon.
Day Six Feb 20th: Visit Kibbutzim in the area such as Lotan, Ein Hatzeva, Yotvata, and Ketura. Travel along the border with Jordan called the Peace Route. Visit Israelite fortress from the time of the 1st temple. Prepare for Shabbat.
Day Seven Feb 21st: Shabbat at Kibbutz Tsofar which specializes in raising Antelope.
Day Eight Feb 22nd: Timna to Shaharut. 28km. My first long day. Mostly flat through the desert.
Day Nine Feb 23rd: Shaharut to Zihor. 50km. No I will not be hiking this. Today I rent a bicycle and ride the 50km. We visit the great sand dune of Kasui. Come join me!
Day Ten Feb 24th: Zihor to Barak. 24km This is a slippery hike due to the time of year. I will be hiking through canyons filled with water.
Day Eleven Feb 25th: Barak to Zofar. 26km. There is a Nabatean ruin along this way used in the days of the spice trade. 100BCE.
Day Twelve Feb 26th: Zofar to Wadi Geled. 26km. Hike along the ancient spice route.
Day Thirteen Feb 27th: Spent in Mitzpe Ramon with Religious community that practices eco-friendly ways. Prepare for Shabbat.
Day Fourteen Feb 28th: Shabbat in Mitzpe Ramon.
Day Fifteen March 1st: Wadi Geled to Be’erot Khan. 21km Beautiful desert waterfall and swimming hole here.
Day Sixteen March 2nd: Be’erot Khan to Mitzpe Ramon. 18km. This is a great hike through a huge crater with sandstone of all different colors. A Bedouin ( Arab Shepherd ) will meet me along the way to show me Bedouin life here. At night I will visit the astronomy center.
Day Seventeen March 3rd: My friend is a park ranger here and has agreed to take me out in his jeep to discover the hidden treasures of this great natural phenomenon.
Day Eighteen March 4th: Mitzpe Ramon to Hava. 25km This hike goes along the craters rim.
Day Nineteen March 5th: Hava to Akev. 23km. Through canyons, waterfalls and swimming holes. As well as the famous Ein Akev.
Day Twenty March 6th: Ahev to Midreshet Ben Gurion. 13km. This is the Kibbutz Ben Gurion one of the founding fathers of the modern state of Israel. I will spend Shabbat here.
Day Twenty One March 7th: Shabbat
Day Twenty Two March 8th: Visit the home and grave of David Ben Gurion. Also drive over to Avdat and visit the ancient Nabatean city.
Day Twenty Three March 9th: Drive to Jerusalem to spend Purim visiting sick children in hospitals, and we have a magician coming along! Come along and join us!
Day Twenty Four March 10th: PURIM! Visit sick children and hang out with Rabbi Yom Tov Glazer ( the surfing Rabbi )
Day Twenty Five March 11th: Recovery Day from Purim.
Day Twenty Six March 12th: Visit The Dead Sea, Masada, and Ein Gedi
Day Twenty Seven March 13th: Drive to Dimona and Prepare for Shabbat.
Day Twenty Eight March 14h: Shabbat with The Black Hebrews from Dimona. A interesting group originally from Chicago who claim to be one of the lost tribes. They are strict Vegans.
Day Twenty Nine March 15h: Midreshet Ben Gurion to Mador 17km. Relatively easy hike as tomorrow is the most challenging of the entire hike.
Day Thirty March 16h: Mador to The Colored Sands. 22km Today we hike the infamous Mt. Karbolet. This is a almost vertical hike all the way up! But its supposed to offer a great view.
Day Thirty One March 17h: The Colored Sands to The Small Machtesh: 22km. I have now hiked through three huge craters. Today’s crater is the smallest and easiest to understand. I highly suggest you join me for this hike!
Day Thirty Two March 18h: The Small Machtesh to Wadi Lot. 23km. That’s right named after Avraham’s nephew Lot. Sodom and Gomorrah are not far away. I better be careful.
Day Thirty Three March 19th: Wadi Lot to Arad. 23km. This day concludes our hike in the Negev desert. From here I go through the Shephela or Judean lowlands. Arad also houses some of the oldest remains in the country. A city from 2500BCE!!!
Day Thirty Four March 20th: Visit The ancient remains of Arad and prepare for Shabbat.
Day Thirty Five March 21st: Shabbat at a nearby Kibbutz.
Day Thirty Six March 22nd: Arad to Drejat. 24km In Drejat I will spend the evening with the Falakhim Bedouin tribe that lives here.
Day Thirty Seven March 23rd: Drejat to The Yatir Forest. 20km. We arrive to our first Forest of the hike. After five weeks in the desert I am sure it will be a pleasing site!
Day Thirty Eight March 24th: Yatir Forest to Hirbat Za’ak: 28km. It a long hike in the forest mostly downhill. There is a Bedouin musuem along the way as well as many ruins from the 2nd temple period. I will spend the night with the members on kibbutz Negba. A famous kibbutz settled in 1939.
Day Thirty Nine March 25th: Hirbat Za’ak to Philip Farm: 29km. The longest hike of the trip. The area around Philip Farm played an important role in the War of Independence.
Day Forty March 26th: Spend day visiting Kibbutzim in the area such as Yad Mordechai, Ruhama, Gvulot, and Revivim.
Day Forty One March 27th: A day of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Sedrot. Meeting with families learning about the situation there and giving out presents to kids with students from Hebrew University while raising money for needy children here. Prepare for Shabbat.
Day Forty Two March 28th: Shabbat with families in Sedrot accompanied with students of Aish HaTorah.
Day Forty Three March 29th: Philip Farm to Biet Grubin. 22km. This hike goes past Lachish, the biggest city next to Jerusalem in the 1st temple period until it was destroyed in 701BCE by the Assyrians. We end in an ancient Roman town. Within this town we find one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters.
Day Forty Four March 30th: Beit Grubin to Srigim Li-on. 18km. Today I become an archeologist with Archeological Seminars, at biblical Marasha. Originally an Israelite city and then an Edomean.
Day Forty Five March 31st: Srigim Li-on to Bar Giora. 23km. I pass by the place where King David defeated Goliath. We also go through the valley where Joshua made the sun stand still, roads from the Bar Kochba revolt in 132CE, as well as a beautiful Byzantine period mosaic at Hirbat Khanot.
Day Forty Six April 1st: Bar Giora to Even Sapir. 18km. Today I will be met with students from Hillel who will hike with us for the day. We go through the Kennedy Peace Forest.
Day Forty Seven April 2nd: Even Sapir to Neve Shalom. 23km. All day I am hiking through the Burma Road. A side road built to bring supplies to Jerusalem while the main road was cut of by the Jordanians. This was a major turning even in the War of Independence in our favor. Neve Shalom in a village where Muslims and Jews live side by side in peace. Its also the place Roger Waters of Pink Floyd played when in Israel.
Day Forty Eight April 3rd: Neve Shalom to Gizmo. 19km. I will visit the Tank Museum and Mini Israel a model of every city in Israel that you can walk though. We end up in Gizmo a 2nd temple period village where my friend lives. Good thing because I need to get ready for Shabbat.
Day Forty Nine April 4th: Shabbat in Gizmo.
Day Fifty April 5th: Gizmo to Mazor. 27km. There are a lot of ruins from 2nd temple period along the way.
Day Fifty One April 6th: Mazor to Tel Aviv. 25km. I finally arrive to the sea!
Day Fifty Two April 7th: Day in Tel Aviv. Visit Independence Hall, the Palmach Museum, and the Israel Museum of Tel Aviv.
Tonight we are having a big Concert at Mikes Place to Raise Money for Children who are victims of Terror.
Day Fifty Three April 8th: Spend the day visiting the ancient port city of Jaffa and head to Jerusalem for Passover.
Day Fifty Four April 9th: Passover
Day Fify Five April 10th: Passover
Day Fifty Six April 11th: Shabbat
Day Fifty Seven April 12th: Tel Aviv to Netanya. 28km. All day along the beach with friends!
Fundraising Event in Netanya.
Day Fifty Eight April 13th: Netanya to Sdot Yam. 26km. Another day on the beach. Good for the ankles. In Sdot Yam there is a center that helps to save Sea Turtles. Some of the Turtles are 50 Kilo! That’s over a hundred pounds.
Day Fifty Nine April 14th: Visit Caesarea a port city built by King Herrod. Some of the most beautiful ancient aqueducts in the world. Prepare for the last night of Passover.
Day Sixty April 15th: Last day of Passover in Caesarea
Day Sixty One April 16th to Day Seventy One April 26th: After two months on the trail, a well deserved 10 days off.
Day Seventy Two April 27th: Sdot Yam to Zikron Ya’akov. 20km. Mostly uphill. After 10 days off it could be difficult.
Day Seventy Three April 28th: Yom HaZikaron. Remembrance day for the fallen soldiers of Israel. I will attend a ceremony
Day Seventy Four April 29th: Yom Matsmehut. Independence Day. Enjoying the festivities in Zikron Ya’akov while visiting the first alliyah museum anf Nili museum.
Day Seventy Five April 30th: Zikron Ya’akov to Ein Hod. 22km. Ein Hod has biblical significance in the book of Judges. It also houses a great art museum.
Day Seventy Six May 1st: Ein Hod to Carmel City. 15km. Almost all uphill. Short in distance but long in feeling. Visit the community there and prepare for Shabbat.
Day Seventy Seven May 2nd: Shabbat.
Day Seventy Eight May 3rd: Spend day in Haifa. Visit the Bahia community and there famous gardens. The Bahia are an offshoot from Islam. Visit the Hecht Museum and the Navel Museum.
Day Seventy Nine May 4th: Carmel City to Hanezirim Mill. 21km. This begins the Christian part of the hike. Most of the places the trail goes through over the next few days are famous churches.
Day Eighty May 5th: Hanezirim Mill to Cana: 23km. Pass through Tziporri. A famous town from the 1st temple period all the way to modern day. This is where Judah HaNasi lived and compiled the Mishne. Cana is the place in Christian literature that Jesus turned water into wine. I will stay the night with a family in Nazareth. A Christian holy city.
Day Eighty One May 6th: Cana to Kfar Kish: 24km. We pass through Mt. Tabor. The story of Deborah and Yael is from here.
Day Eighty Two May 7th: Kfar Kish to Yanne’el: 22km. One of the nicest hikes of the trip. Great Views.
Day Eighty Three May 8th: Yanne’el to Poria: 18km. I reach the Jordan River and hike north along its banks. Prepare for Shabbat.
Day Eighty Four May 9th: Shabbat in Tiberias with Chabad.
Day Eighty Five May 10th: Fundraising Event. Rent Bicycles and ride around the sea of Galilee. it’s a 67km ride. So only if your fit. Rentals are 100nis. 25$ And all proceeds go to All for The Kids!
Day Eighty Six May 11th: Visit Tiberius and the tombs of Rabbi Akiva, The Ramchal, The Rambam, and The Baal Ha’Nes. Go To Mt. Meron and Prepare for Lag B’Omer.
Day Eighty Seven May 12th: Lag B’Omer at Shimon Bar Yochai’s grave. One of if not thee craziest holidays all year! Wait til you see the video from this!
Day Eighty Eight May 13th: Lag B’Omer. Last year 750,000 that’s right 750,000 people came.
Day Eighty Nine May 14th: I follow the Hasidim to Safed in order to spend Shabbat there and learn about Kabala.
Day Ninety May 15th: Visit the greatest ever Kabala master’s grave. The Ari. Go to the famous Ari Mikvah, and prepare for a mystical kabalistic Shabbat in one of the 4 Holy cities of Israel, Safed.
Day Ninety One May 16th: Shabbat
Day Ninety Two May 17th: Hike to Amuka, the valley of love with the Kabalist. Travel back to Migdal.
Day Ninety Three May 18th: Migdal to Ein Koves: 17km. After an insane 2 days of partying we start a 3 day hike basically up hill. We go from sea level to 2200m above sea level or 6600 ft. Over a mile high!
Day Ninety Four May 19th: Ein Koves to Mt. Meron. 20km. Mt. Meron is the site where where Shimon Bar Yochai the author of the Zohar ( kabbalah ) is burried. A very holy place. Also the place where we were for Log B’Omer. Now we see it without the hundreds of thousands of people who come here for the holiday!
Day Ninety Five May 20th: Mt. Meron to Dishon. 18km. Lots of Beauty amongst the rolling hills.
Day Ninety Six May 21st: Dishon to Kibbutz Iftah. 16km. I pass by Nebi Yusha a Holy place for the Druze. They believe this is the burrial place of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. Spend the night with the Druze.
Day Ninety Six May 22nd: Kibbutz Iftah to Tel Chai: 18km. This is one of the most emotional days of the hike. We visit a memorial of 12 soldiers in my division who were killed in the Second Lebanon War. Tel Chai on its on has major historical significance to the creation of the modern State of Israel.
Day Ninety Seven May 23rd: Tel Chai to She’er Yeshuv. 16km. Beautiful farm land in the Hula Valley.
Day Ninety Eight May 24th: Visit Tel Dan, Hatzor, and Rafting Down the Jordan River
Day Ninety Nine May 25th: She’er Yeshuv to Nimrods Fortress. 13km. We pass through Banias. A beautiful natural spring and site of a Roman pagan temple.
Day One Hundred May 26th: Nimrod’s Fortress to the top of Mt Hermon. 10km. The highest point in Israel. 2800m above sea level, 7800ft. This is also the end of the hike. How appropriate as it overlooks all of Israel!