Sunday, July 20, 2008

Moonlight hike, Thursday night, July 17, 2008 from Hirbet Hanut to Ein Mata

Having gone with Asher the Guide through the heat of the day in June, we continued our journey with him through the Jerusalem Hills by the light of the moon (when it finally came out from behind the clouds).

We began from Hirbet Hanut, with ruins featuring a mosaic floor and remains of a building.

Mosaic wasn’t the only party at the site: we interrupted a romantic couple who became engaged during a candlelit meal at the ruins.
Many new people joined the July event, which we hope will continue to come on hikes. As for the “program,” Nature did not allow stargazing nor did we see or hear any wildlife, although we had hoped to hear jackals.

What we did experience was the beauty and silence of the night and the scents in the field as we walked to a spring with a Crusader building constructed over the source. Intrepid Shannon climbed into the upper part of the cave to continue filming, and then we all turned off headlamps and flashlights and experienced utter darkness while standing in the water. People made their way back through the branches of an ancient fig tree towering above the cave entrance. We passed another spring, then the circular route brought us back to the parking lot by 1 a.m.

Special thanks to all of the drivers who made the arrangements possible.