Last week, in an effot to end Nativ with a bang, we had our Northern Tiyyul (that is, our trip that took place in Northern Israel). Unlike our Southern Tiyyul, most things went as planned. The only thing that didn't really go as planned, ironically, was our first activity. We were supposed to start with lunch and hospitality in the Druze Village, but there was a big protest going on there so we didn't go. They did, however, bring us lunch to a park, but we had to wait for a long time for it to get there. That was our only major holdup though. In the afternoon I went on a hike that included a crawl through a cave, an excitingly different challenge to the hike; holding a Maglite through that was fun. There was a hot tub at the youth hostel that night and I chilled there a bit.
On Monday, I did an all-day hike at Nahal Amud. The hike itself wasn't that difficult, though the climbing up and down rocks was annoying. However, it was extremely hot last week all-around, we weren't in the shade that much, and it was just really long. I think that was the first time I had ever run out of water (thanks to those who supplied me with more). At one point, one girl was not feeling well and had to take it a little easier, so David and I stayed in back and hiked more slowly with her and the guard, and it ended up helping me as well. Then at night MASA came for evaluations and we had to fill out a survey, which was long and had some really odd questions.
Tuesday was a fun day. I went to the Banyas nature reserve in the morning, since I was hiked-out, and it was very pretty. It had a waterfall, and there was also a tree named after me. After that, we went rafting in the Jordan – I was with David, Seth, Mazakas, and Adam Goldflam. The river itself was boring, but all of the rafts were at war, so that was fun. Next stop after that was the Golan Winery, where we got a tour and overview of how the wine was made, and then we tasted three wines. They showed us exactly how to do it – first, how to hold the cup (from its stem), smell it, swirl the wine around, smell it again, and then taste. The wines were dry and then not dry but not sweet wines (first red, second white), and then a Muscato. After that, we went to our youth hostel and then to Tiberias for dinner. That was a fun day.
Wednesday was Yom Yerushalayim. It was unfortunate that we weren't in Jerusalem, but we did Hallel anyway. The hard hike option was at the Yehudiya, an all-day hike that involved swimming, so I didn't do it. I did a hike at the Zavitan, which was a good hike, and I had a good conversation with Elkana about Judaism. After that, we went to Kiryat Shmone and took a cable car up really high and got some gorgeous views of below (one could see Lebanon – it was obvious by its lack of greenery), and there was also a slide in this go-cart kind of thing that was fun (though I was scared at first). We had a BBQ at the hostel, and then we went to the Hamat Gader hot springs, which I had been to in 8th grade; that was enjoyable.
Thursday was an extremely easy day. We basically went to the Sachne Natural springs and swam there, and I also read a little bit. From there we went back to Yeruham, and along the way I picked up the new Hadag Nachash CD and a Moshe Peretz CD (popular Mizrahi singer). And that was northern Tiyyul! Fun week, great way of seeing the land as we prepare to leave.