4/20/15

The Yehudiya - Barefoot

When my daughters were younger we would go hiking and camping a few times a year.  We would usually camp by the Kinneret, enjoying the water in the morning and at night, even sailing on the sailboat I brought to Israel in my luggage (!) - though it turns out the Kinneret is not the ideal place for sailing, little or no wind first half of day, wild erratic winds second half of day.

When planning one of our trips, I asked an Israeli friend who's a tour guide about the Yehudiya and whether it would be a good place for us to hike (me and my daughters - approximately 7 and 9 at time). Well he didn't think so. He thought it would be too much for us and described why.  As he talked about the difficulties and described them - parts of the trail you needed to walk in water, a point where you need to descend a ladder or jump in to water from a height of several meters, part of the way that could only be traversed by swimming, etc. - my daughters who were listening were practically jumping from excitement. Needless to say, we did the hike, and returned several times. 

But the first time was most memorable, due to sandal problems. At the time clear plastic sandals, good for water, were popular, and that's what my youngest daughter wore for the hike. We started off the hike, climbing down to the first waterfall on the trail.  When we reached it we all went in and enjoyed the pool at it's base. And then my youngest discovered one of her sandals had come off. We looked underwater, but no luck.  I was a bit concerned as she was too bog for me to carry far and she wouldn't be able to walk far on dry land without shoes. But in the meantime the trail involved walking in water, so we continued. It turns out that her problem was a common one with this type of sandal, because we shortly came upon a similar sandal someone else had lost. It was quite big, but we pulled a string out of one of our backpacks and tied it on.  And so we continued.  Then we came to the ladder where we could descend by ladder or jump, after which you needed to swim part of the trail.  We all jumped.  Before jumping my older daughter suggested the younger give her the sandals to hold for her so they wouldn't fall off again.  Needless to say, she dropped them.  We swam on, me trying to figure out how we'll continue when we reach dry land... and when we reached dry ground we found more sandals which we tied onto her feet.  The rest was blessedly uneventful as far as sandals went, and we greatly enjoyed the hike.

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