We were sweating in killer heat, being lead by a stranger, hiking, in an unknown country with a language we don’t speak. Sure, our tour guide definitely did not feel like a stranger, after all, we shared a beautiful opening ceremony in Caesarea and a pleasant Shabbat with her while learning about an amazing culture and religion, but still…we barely just met.
To be honest, I think we were all pretty damn thrilled. Everything had been great so far, why not! What’s a little heat got on us??
We arrived in hot Golan. Our first sighting:
We started our walk with history of the area. This land used to be under Syrian rule, and here we found an old Syrian bunker, complete with bullet holes.
Karmit, our tour guide, fed us information about plants we were seeing and the uses of them. She skillfully guided us through the trail, following the painted flags on the stones corresponding to different trails. Over mountains and under branches, skipping from stone to stone to cross the cool river, into little breechings of plant tunnels, and into the heat!
After the tiring of our muscles could be seen on our red sweaty faces, Karmit reminded us we were going to a swimming hole—one with a waterfall!
Around the edge of the cliff we were on, we could see the rescuing water running below. Some of us started running. We threw off our shoes and jumped in.
The men of our group of course swam deep into this overbearing cave to where the waterfall was. Swimming under the water cascade, they got up inside behind the waterfall and were able to walk on a secret area. Of course I was jealous, so I tried as well. I almost died getting past the wall of falling water. Being exhausted and out of shape, it fought to push me down. Luckily, I made it, gasping for air, and hung out on the cool hard dirt, soaking wet, looking at all my fellow peers.
We floated on our backs…quiet, from the demanding hike we were on for hours. The water cooling our muscles, relaxing our senses…
Since we jumped off a little cliff to get in…getting out was hard for the short people (ahem: me).
It didn’t take long for the heat to evaporate off our clothes.
We also passed the Jilabun Waterfall. Not a bad waterfall at 134 feet 🙂
Nahal Jilabun Canyon is located in Golan heights, the north part of Israel.
*Edit: We ended Shabbat with a night out in Tiberias the night before this hike: We spent the night in Tiberus. It was a beautiful site to see the lit up city over the Sea of Galilee.
Tiberias! A lovely city. Known for its hotsprings, I’ve heard. We ate at a restaurant, where I ordered this fish (which I definitely wasn’t expecting to look like it did when they caught it). It was very good though! After splitting the bill, we roamed off to explore.
Tiberias (named after the emperor Tiberias Caesar) is the lowest city in Israel, making for a nice humid and mosquito ridden summer time place. We walked along and eyed the vendors with their donkeys holding merchandise and giving rides. I definitely have never seen that one before. Tiberias is one of the four holiest cities in Israel (along with Jerusalem, Tzaf, and Herbon). I wish we had more time in this city! It’s holy and full of activities, and fresh sea food 😛 yumm.
We all caught up with each other at this party on the pier. Tons of people dancing and attractive Israel bartenders 🙂 We got our Goldstars and danced. Met some new friends, we all had a good time. I think I won this lay, but I don’t remember how…. :p
-The Nahal Jilabun Canyon trail can be hiked via 3 hour or 5 hour route. The first brings you to starting point, circular in fashion. You get to see the Jilabun and Dvora waterfalls. The five hour route takes you to Ein Jilabun Officer’s pool, it ends at Pkak Bridge. Noncircular, so have your ride waiting at the end. Don’t forget tons of water, sunscreen and your swimming suit!
Have you ever been to Tiberias? Since we barely spent any time there, I would love to hear what your experience!