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Apr 24, 2008

Touring Eretz Yisrael: Chol Hamoed: Day 3

For Day 3 of Chol Hamoed, we decided to do something different. We joined a group of a bunch of families doing a tiyul together. This was a "big" trip, meaning we did not just do stuff in the areas surrounding Bet Shemesh/Jerusalem. We went up north. On a group bus.

So the day began with a noon departure. The drive up to Bet She'an was a little more than 2 hours long. At Bet She'an, we stopped at the National Park, where we ate lunch. In addition, some people went on a tour of the archaeological site of the Roman Amphitheater. I chose not to, even though I have not been there in many years. My decision was simple - the walk down was long, it was about 41 degrees Celsius (in the shade), which is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and I had a bunch of kids who would not have been interested (and I probably would have had to carry some of them).

So I stayed up at the top. We took the kids to a park while others did the tour. We just hung out and waited out the heat.
After that, we went to look in the area for a fairly quiet Nahal to hike in. It is pretty impossible, considering it being Chol Ha'Moed and very hot, pretty much every inch of Nahal in the country is packed with people, but we actually found one that was reasonable. It had areas that were crowded, but along the length of the Nahal we found some spots that were quiet and appropriate for our group.

Everybody went in and swam. We cooled off and enjoyed the respite from the heat in a Nahal called Nahal Ha'Kibbutzim which is in the area of Kibbutz Nir David. The Nahal was clean and at its deep spot was about (my) chest high. After swimming a but, most people went out, but (most of) my family decided to hike from where we were to the end of the Nahal, in the water. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it.

From there we headed to some community center/country club in Bet She'an. The group had arranged to rent the pool for some late nighttime swim. We got there and had a bbq dinner. At about 8pm we had the pool for the women, who went for a nice swim. They came back raving about the pool. At about 9:45 the men had the pool until about 11:15. The pool was really beautiful, along with a shvitz (sauna) and great Jacuzzi. I was surpised Bet She'an would have such a nice pool...

Then we headed back to Bet Shemesh, leaving just after midnight.

On our way out of Bet She'an (12:15am or so), we passed by a branch of Shefa Shuk. I must say the [threat of] cherem by the Haredim of Shefa is working 100% in Bet She'an. The store was completely empty of customers.

You think it is over. At about 1:15 the bus broke down. I am not sure where we were, as I had been sleeping and not paying attention to the road, but I could tell it was on the highway next to an Arab village. I thought it was Um el Fahim, but was not sure. It seemd the bus had overheated. After workign on it for a bit, the driver got us going again and we drove for a few more minutes, and pulled over again at the top entrance to Kvish 6. I suspect he did this only so that we would not have to sit next to an Arab village.

He could not get the bus working and we had to wait for some mechanics to be sent out. They arrived at about 2:30 or so and worked on the bus for a while. In the meantime I had gotten stuffy sitting n the hot bus so I went with the baby I was holding and laid out on the side of the road enjoying the fresh air. Everybody seemed to think that was strange, as I think I was the most photographed item of the day. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures of myself, but am waiting for someone to send me what they took and then I will add them to the post. In the meantime, I was enjoying the good cool fresh air while they were all sitting in a stuffy hot bus.


They finally got it working and we were off to bet Shemesh. I heard afterwards that a belt had broken and that was causing the engine to overheat. The mechanic replaced the belt and then it was fine.

We arrived home at about 4:15 am, just in time to head out to Hebron for Vaskin.... just kidding.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great trip. What a fun - and educational - thing to do with your family! When people develop their pics, the caption under the photos of you will read "Finally! Someone with common sense!" I would have done exactly the same. Are you wearing a Bears cap in the pic? It's not close enough for me to tell.....

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  2. I don't know if common sense is the right term. It was probably a bit crazy, and had everyone done it it would probably have been very dangerous being on the side of a major highway.

    But I just could no longer take the stuffiness of the bus, and we had no idea whether it would take just another 20 minutes for the mechanic to arrive and fix the bus or another 4 hours....

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  3. oh, and it is not a Bears hat. I could not find that one. It is just a Chicago hat using the same color scheme as the Bears scheme...

    ReplyDelete

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