Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nachal Chazuri – March 19th – 21st, 2009

We met at the Golan Field School in Katzrin on Thursday night. Since there is not much to do in Katzrin, most of us went to sleep fairly early.
We woke up to an overcast day. After breakfast at the field school, we drove north towards the Hermon. We drove along the Syrian border, past the volcanic hills of Bental and Avital, and through the Druze Villages of Bouq'ata and Mas'ada.

After passing Nimrods castle, we dropped off our passengers, and the drivers took the cars to the end of the route. Two cars brought the drivers back to the beginning of the route.

Nachal Chazuri is one of the few running streams on the Hermon. It runs from high on the Hermon to below Nimrods Castle where it joins Nachal Govta and flows down to the Banyas.

Our route started near Nebi Chazuri, A Druze holy place.

At the beginning of the route we saw the remains of two flour mills, which utilized the height difference to grind flour up until about 100 years ago.

Very quickly we entered the wadi and started scrambling down small cliffs. The route was very slippery, and we had to watch every step.

There were quite a few slips, but no one was seriously hurt.

We left the wadi just before in joins Nachal Govta, and climbed up towards Nimrods Castle. It was a short (about 20 minutes), but very steep climb.

After a short break at the entrance to Nimrod's Fortress, we took a tour of the Fortress.

The Fortress was built in the 13th Century by the Ayyubies, and was later reinforced by the Mamlukes.

Once we finished the tour, we realized that we would have enough time to continue down to the Banias. The drivers who had left their cars at the beginning of the route, walked back there, got the cars, drove back to the fortress, picked up the rest of drivers and took them to get the rest of the cars. Once all of the cars had returned, each car made its way independently back to the Field School.

We had Friday Night dinner at the field school, and most people went to sleep early.

After breakfast on Shabbat, a small group decided to visit Nachal Zavitan, which is a short walk from the field school.

Since there has been construction in the area , we had trouble finding the trail, but eventually found it. At one point, we had to go through a gate that had a 'beware of land mines' sign on it. Since, it was an obvious path, most of us went through the gate, but some refused and turned back.

About 10 minutes later, we got to Nachal Zavitan. We continued down stream for about 15 minutes, and came to a lovely pool, with hexagonal crystal cliffs on both sides.

We stays there for a while, and then started heading back.

We decided to follow Nachal Zavitan upstream towards the road. It was longer than we thought, but well worth the time. We were a bit late for Lunch, but as usual there was plenty of food.

Thanks to Naomi for organizing a great week, and to Achi, our guide for doing a great job.


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