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Walking on the Jesus Trail

Our first day of walking, and therefore of rain ... naturally!

rain 15 °C

Well we knew it was going to happen! Rain was indeed forecast for today.

It looked a bit gloomy when I looked out the hotel room window this morning. There were dark clouds around, with some mist. They are calling for rain, so in preparation for our first actual walking day on the “Jesus Trail” we were reminded to pack our rain gear in our daypacks. We’ve had beautiful sunny weather thus far, while looking around in Nazareth, so it’s a bit funny that on our first official walking day, it should be raining! We also had to pack up all the rest of our belongings, as we were leaving the Legacy Nazareth Hotel after three wonderful nights. The food was great as well!

After breakfast, we hopped on the bus and were taken to the trail head. Our trek today on the Jesus Trail would be from Kibbutz Lavi to Mt Arbel. We headed out across agricultural fields to ascend the Horns of Hattin, a volcanic structure where a famous Crusader battle took place in 1187. It was starting to rain by this time and the wind had really picked up too. It reminded me very much of my experience in Iceland a few years ago, on one of our very windy, “raining sideways” days. It wasn’t quite raining sideways today, but the muddy ground was getting very slippery in places (thank goodness for walking poles!). In some spots, through the clouds and rain, we could see the Sea of Galilee and beautiful views of the vast Arbel valley.
We continued down the rocky hillside to Nebi Shu’eib, the holiest shrine for the Druze religion. Unfortunately, due to some mixup, (they seemed to be a bit nervous about foreigners perhaps bringing in the Coronavirus), we were not allowed inside to see it, but were allowed to use the washrooms near the parking lot area. Later, the rain finally let up, and it warmed up considerably. We visited the tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses ... and then had lunch at an outdoor picnic area near the top of Mt Arbel. Although there were still dark clouds around - and thunder! - it had stopped raining and things (the roads and path) were starting to dry out.
After lunch we continued on the trail through the Arbel valley past ancient olive groves and the ruins of the Palestinian Hattin village. We saw many caves in the sides of the cliffs and the many wildflowers made willing subjects for photo opps!
At the end of the day, my Fitbit said I had walked 21,810 steps and 14.85 km. We are staying in nearby Tiberias tonight for three nights.

After dinner tonight we got the news that three cases of Coronavirus had been recorded in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is in the West Bank, and so the Palestinian Authority has decided to close the West Bank to tourists, to help contain the disease. This means that we will have to revise our travel itinerary. We were supposed to go to the West Bank on Monday ... now however, that is not possible. The suggestion that we head to Jerusalem instead, (in our original itinerary, we were to go there after Bethlehem) has been floated, and so I think that will be what we’ll do. We’ll have a third night here in Tiberias, and then head off to Jerusalem on Monday for 4 or 5 days. That may change again; we’ll have to take it a day at a time.

Posted by Laura Walking 08:04 Archived in Israel

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