|snapling/ rappelling maps |
jeep trail maps
in the land of adventure: hike and jeep the trails, climb the cliffs and rappell down into the craters!
Climbing, Hiking, Jeeping in Israel!
| Our Family Jeeping and Rappelling Adventure |
Early in the morning 2 jeeps arrive at the pickup point in Jerusalem, where our eager adventurers are waiting: mother, father, the children and some lucky relatives.
Taking our places and stowing the gear, we start driving West in the direction of Tsuba. After a short drive (which the kids are using to learn to read a compass and topographic map), we leave the paved road and start to see what the Jeeps are good for!
We work our way downhill from Mt. Tayassim, traversing wooded ridges, on a steep, breathtaking trail. The children are helping to navigate! After half an hour of forest fantasies, we burst out of the woods and splash our way across Nachal Refaim, having descended some 700 meters!
Back on the highway, on the way to the next trail, Itamar explains how King David used these forests and canyons in his war against the Philistines.
We leave the highway before Tel Azeka, and take a short break to spread out the topo maps. We give the youngest kids the honor of orienting the maps according to their compasses, and then the other family members are asked to suggest the best path to climb to the summit. Two different directions, one for each jeep- and the first one to the top… prepares coffee for all. The guides don't interfere, and after several false starts and one dead end- we are all on the top, sipping the fresh brew and enjoying the incredible view!
While the elders rest, Itamar encourages the youngsters to tell us about the battle between David and Goliath, and then shows them just where it took place, below us. The youngest started acting out the roles from the biblical story, though it was hard to find a volunteer to play Goliath…
A short ride to Luzit, and we are exploring the Pa'amon Caves, while discussing the time of the Second Temple and the Romans. While explaining, Itamar and his crew are setting up our next adventure: rappelling, climbing and zip lining!
We are going snapling/ rappelling down into one of the caves! No way! But first Itamar shows us how to properly attach the harness- and then he asks who will be the first volunteer!Our oldest son as well as our oldest daughter both want the honor- in the end they flip a coin, and- she wins… WOW! Flying through the air, but in complete control- we all can't wait for our turn! Even the youngest glided down, in tandem with the guide, and we got photographs of each and every one in mid-air. What a story to tell their friends!
After the snepling, the zipline (omega) seemed almost tame, but the youngest really like it, and run back and forth to glide down again and again.After the descent of the rappelling, and the glide of the zip line- climbing the rock face seems pretty tame- but no, here is a genuine challenge. Everyone takes a turn, but only the most determined mange to climb their way to the very top of the cliff, and then use their rope to glide back down again, wearing a huge grin to match their feelings of accomplishment. Those who didn't want to climb, elegantly excused themselves in order to set up the barbeque and picnic lunch, in a shady spot. Boy, were we ever hungry! The kids got their hot dogs, the adults got their steaks or chicken, with lots of fresh salads and fruit, and cold drinks to wash it all down. And every single foodstuff was Glatt Kosher Mehadrin!A fast clean up, and we were on the way to the next attraction: the Bar Kochva Caves! Armed with flashlights, we explored the intricate tunnel system that or forefathers used to hide out from Roman soldiers. Hidden entrances, crawling through narrow tunnels, until suddenly reaching a hidden room carved out of solid rock, with high ceilings. Here we heard the story of the valiant defenders of Judea and their last stand at this very site!
As the day fades, we climb back on the jeeps, and return to Jerusalem. Did all this really fit into one day? Three cheers for Itamar Dardik of Ashdot! We are already planning next year's jeep adventure with him- this time to the Judean Desert, in the canyons above the Dead Sea… or perhaps on the Golan Heights…