Field cooking: An Important part of the Desert Experience

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morning remains of a night feast in the desert

A most important part of the desert experience is the eating…

Being in an area different from our regular neighbourhood allows us to open our minds for different and special cooking. This category will deal with recepies for desert cooking, and here comes the first:

St. Peter’s Fish on the Fire

A very easy and rewarding dish:

Spread an alluminum foil and place a large lettuce leaf on it. The leaf will prevent the sticking of the fish to the foil and absorb the juices. Place some onion and garlic slices on the leaf and top by the fish, after spreading some salt and lemon on it. Spread salt, lemon, rough black pepper and olive oil on the upper side of the fish, add garlic and onion slices and cover by another lettuce leaf. Rap withe alluminum foil and seal properly.

This is a good time to make the fire, In nature reserves make sure you bring the firewood with you. Out of the reserves, especially when you are hiking with all the gear on your back, a good source for dry wood is the material drifted by the flash floods in the dry riverbed, easily found stuck to the bushes. After fire is lit, you can relax by drinking red wine untill the fire is strong enough. Place the fish atop the fire and cover with some extra charcoal or wood. Drink some more wine while waiting the 20 minutes for the fish to be ready…

Make sure you take the litter with you, mainly the remains of the foil. After dinner, lie down and while the fire goes down look at the stars and fall asleep peacefully.

guitar playing after field cooking

A moonlight hike in the Judean Desert, 4-5 September 2009

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A creative solution that enables hiking in dry places during the harsh and hot summer is hiking at night.

Sunrise after a moonlit hike in the Judean Desert

The Jewish and Muslem calendars  are based on the moon cycle, and you can predict the moonlight available according to the date in those calendars.

The moon is born at the first day of the month, reaching its climax on the 15th and then declines. The full moon rises at around 18:00 winter time,  every day belated by around 40 minutes.

On the 4th of September will be the 15th of the Hebrew month of Elul, and we will make the most of the full moon and hike in the Judean desert under its light!

We will walk from Ma’ale Adummim to the astonishing observation over the Mar Saba monastery, then walk down to the Horkania Fortress and conclude atop Jebel Muntar, with a beautiful view of the moon sinking in our west, while the sun rising in the east!  

Next, we will drive to the Fawwar spring (Ein Mabbua) in Wadi Kelt and hang out by the waters.

Registration and additionnal information by contacting me through the Website: www.yoeloren.com

An Adventurous Trek to the Jordanian Canyons, 27-29 August 2009

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karak arnon june 08 013

Jordan is an endless paradise for hikers. This three-day trek brings us to three of the Jordanian canyons, where you have flowing water all year round, and a most beautiful natural decoration. Hiking those canyons pinch your heart, as you can only try inserting that beauty in a photo, but it doesn’t reflect the complete fascination of the landscape. The only way to deal with it is keep returning to those places over and over again…

 a 60 meter tall side waterfall

 Our trip will start in Wadi Mukhairis, a limestone canyon  flowing to the Dead Sea beach, near the hotel resort. We will walk upstream and visit the two “hidden waterfalls”. Coming back down we will walk on the northern cliffs and opposite the beautiful view of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert beyond.

 A hidden waterfall in Wadi Mukhairis

 Driving south along the Dead Sea shore we will arrive to Wadi Karak and camp atop its cliffs on the south of the canyon. A very early start and we will descend steeply into the canyon. Right away we will reach the first waterfall – the graded 40 meter fall, which is devided into three sections. We will abseil the first two together, then separately we will abseil the third 20 meters fall. The waterfall is a gateway into paradise, consists of plenty of water and hanging gardens, with not a dull moment.

Abseiling the small waterfall of Wadi Karak

On the third day we will hike in the ultimate canyon of Jordan: the Mujib (Arnon), We will ascend to the pools of the Hidan  canyon, and then descend the Mujib including abseiling in its 18 meter waterfall.  A beautiful cherry to to top the whipped cream!

The Mujib waterfall

Joining this trek or finding out how to do it yourself can be done by contacting me through the main website at www.yoeloren.com.

A Summer Water Hike in the Galilee

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Many people ask me when is the best season to visit Israel for hiking. During winter it might rain, while summer is so hot and humid most Israelis that can afford sneak out of the country to cooler places. Spring and Autumn are perfect, the weather is great and the bird migration is at its peak, while the prices are low, but unfortunately the vacations are not in those seasons!

So actually, one should come here whenever he is able to, and there are different hikes that can fit any season.

And as we are in the middle of the summer, here is a beautiful and refreshing water hike that perfecly fits the hot weather!

The Lower Banias Water Hike

The Lower Banias taken by Galina Genser

This is a trail that even most Israelis do not know. It consists of walking in the water, down the Banias Stream, the water level reaches the waist, but sometimes swimming is unavoidable.

Starting point: The rear entrance to She’ar Yashuv moshav, in the finger of Galilee, on the northern section of route 918, between Horshat Tal National Park and Kibbutz Kfar Szold. The car can be parked in the moshav. Crossing the road to the west, you arrive at the bridge of the Banias stream. On its left (south) there is a dirt road. This road is parallel to our water trail. you can enter or exit the stream anywhere you choose, continue in the stream or on the dirt road,  reach the finish line or backtrack to the car.

Finish: At Sde Nehemia Kibbutz, on road 9779.  You can recognize the place by having the Hatzbani stream with its flow of rafts and kayaks join from the north. ENJOY!

hikers in the Banias (by Galina Genser)

The Israel Trail

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The Israel trail crosses the country from the Lebanese border in the north to the Egyptian one in the south, more than 900 kilometers in length. On its way, it winds through the mountains of the Upper Galilee, the hills of the Lower Galillee, lake Kinneret (“Sea of Galillee”), the Carmel Mountain, the Coastal Plains, the Jerusalem Hills and the Negev Desert, ending in the Gulf of Eilat.

In the last few years it has become a trend for Israeli youngsters, to walk the whole length as a challenge, before going to the army service or right after completing it.

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Hiking in the Jordanian Canyons:

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Summer in this region is usually considered as a too hot season for hiking. People rather stay in air-conditioned rooms or dip in a swimming pool.

However, in the Jordanian canyons every extra degree is to be blessed!

A very special hike is offered in August 10th to the 13th:

Day 1: Ibn Hammad gorge, a canyon that might have been the model upon which God based the design for the Garden of Eden… Water dripping from the walls, wonderful colors of sandstone, and hanging gardens of date palms!

Day 2 and 3: The Hassa Canyon (Zered), a two-day hike to the most landscape diversed canyon in Jordan. The water runs through limestone, dolomite, various sandstones and granite.
This is an ultimate water amusement park!

j1 Hassa water fun

 Day 4: Hidan and Mujib (Arnon) Canyons, including swimming through pools and streams and abseiling the 20m waterfall.

j2The Mujib waterfall

The price is 500$ per person, meeting at the northern border crossing between Jordan and Israeli. Please contact me to join the hike or get more details!

Yoel

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