Sunday, June 28, 2009

Har Meron – June 4th-6th 2009

Most of us slept over at the Har Meron Field School on Thursday night.

After breakfast at the field school, we met the guide, and a few people who joined us just for the hike, and started walking.

The first leg of our hike took us to the top of Har Meron, the highest peak in the Upper Galilee at over 1200 meters. Most of the way was under cover. We saw many interesting plants, unique to the area, including Moss and Cedars.

Towards the end of the climb, the view opened up, and we say the whole north eastern part of the country, including the Hermon, the Golan Heights, and the northern part of the Upper Galilee. We also had a view into Lebanon. From this point we walked along the last part of the summit trail (A trail that goes around the peak of Har Meron. We rested for a bit at the parking lot, where we met a group of soldiers who were cleaning up the area.

The next leg of our hike took us from the peak of Har Meron down to the beginning of Nachal Kziv. Our first stop of this leg was an ancient threshing floor. We then walked through the ruins of Chirbet Bek, a Jewish settlement form the beginning of the 19th century. Here we say an example of secondary use. A mill stone was being use as a trough for the local sheep and goats. We continued down the hill. The last part of the decent was on a road built by the residents of Beit Jan to access their fields.

One reaching the bottom of the hill, we stopped for lunch under some peach, or was in plumb, trees.

After lunch, we continued along Nachal Kziv. Our plan was to connect with the 'Road of Contention', but construction of new fields and orchards had moved the trail. After looking for a path for about halfan hour, our guide led us over some fences and through some fields towards the 'Road of Contention'.

The 'Road of Contention' was built through the Meron Nature reserve by the residents of Beit Jan and Hurfeish to shorten the trip between the two villages.

Along the road there is a memorial to the 73 soldiers who were killed in 1997 when two helicopters collided in mid air over Shear Yeshuv. One of the soldiers was from Beit Jan, and this is his memorial.

Towards the end of the road, we left it, and started walking up Nachal Moran, which would take us back to the field school. Along the wat we passed Einot Neriya, a group of springs that flow all year round.

On Shabbat, several groups took a walk to Nachal Neriya. One group encountered a large herd of goats that were on the way to graze.

Many thanks to Craig who coordinated the hike, and to our guide Michael.