Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Day Sunshine

Today was excellent.  I'm so glad I returned to the south instead of staying in Tel Aviv this weekend.  A fellow student (David) and I decided to hike in Timna Park today.  I wasn't expecting much - I really just wanted to get outside and exercise after three days of rain and sitting on a bus.  We had an early breakfast and planned on hitchhiking to Timna, which is 20 minutes south of Ketura.  Opportunely, our bus driver from the last three days was headed in the same direction.  He dropped us off at the main road entrance to the park and we started walking towards the gate.  After a little while, we realized that the gate was pretty far (~3 km), but no problem - we stuck out our fingers and two guys picked us up.  At the gate we hopped out of the car and approached the admission window.  Right away, the park ranger warned us that we would need a car to get around the "large" park.  "No way, we want to hike."  After a hesitant look, the ranger handed us a trail map and said that we'd only have to pay half the admission fee (~$3.50 each) since we weren't driving in.  Win.

Unfortunately, the map was not consistent with the actual trail markings and didn't include a scale, but that didn't prevent us from exploring on our own terms.

Spiral Rock - it looked like a fun climb to the top, so that's what we did.
Probably not allowed, but nobody stopped us :P
View from the top of Spiral Rock

Mushroom Rock

Being silly at the "breathtaking panorama of the south of the valley and the area of the lake."
(According to the trail description)  You can see the lake above my left arm.

Solomon's Pillars

We squeezed through tight spaces - basically to prove that we could do it.

We chose to hike on the Israel Trail out of the park,
but we didn't realize we'd be hiking up a mountain.

View from the top of the mountain - definitely worth it.

Steep descent - handrails necessary.

All in all, we got lost a lot, hiked 20 km (we think), and scoffed at all the cars driving through the park.  Everyone said we wouldn't be able to see much of the park by just walking - well we showed them.

Getting back to Ketura was pretty smooth - two successful hitchhikes and an intermediate stop at the popular regional ice cream shop for mango and lemon sorbet.  Just in time for dinner and a quick shower before one of the staff members invited us to go stargazing.  With a sophisticated telescope we spotted the moon, Saturn, Sirius, Orion's sword, and much more.  I'll sleep so soundly tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment