Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From Sea to Sea

Just call me Forrest Gump because I just walked across the country.  Even though Israel may not be even close to as big as America....we still traveled the whole width.  It was so crazy fun!  So I'm basically gonna take you guys through the gist of my days.

Day 1:
We started at the Sea of Galilee.  We did a super easy water hike and then went to our campsite.  We had a cute first night bonfire and roasted marshmallows (kosher for Passover obviously).  Then, we got to sleep under the stars.  No, we didn't have a tent, they just laid out a tarp and gave us all sleeping bags.  Quite a first camping experience. 

Day 2:
This was the hardest day of all of them.  We woke up around 6:00am and started our hike about an
hour later.  About an hour in, we stopped and made ourselves breakfast.  Each group is given two burners, a bag of apples, matzah, salami, spices, cooking oil, rice, and chocolate spread.  This is given to us each morning and we eat it for breakfast and lunch.  Also, we have to carry all of this with us, as well as 4.5 liters of water.  Let me tell ya it gets pretty darn heavy.  So, we continued to hike for the rest of the day and most of it was uphill so it was very difficult.  We took the occasional break and about an hour break for lunch.  We continued our hike until around 5:00pm and finally made it to our campsite.  Even though the day was hard and tiring, it was still so much fun and was one of my favorite days of EIE.

Day 3:
They gave us tents this night :-).  We woke up and got ready to go for another long day of hiking.  It was still a super fun day.  This day we got to do self-navigation, so each group got a map and a walkie-talkie and had to navigate ourselves to checkpoints along the way to our destination.  This went interestingly because I was in charge of navigating for my group and we went to the wrong way within the first 30 seconds.  But, we ended making it to lunch perfectly fine.  On the way we passed by wild cows just roaming the forest and tons sheep being herded all by one man.  It was so cool to see.  The day was a little shorter than the previous and was still a lot of fun.

Day 4:
This day was a water hike and it was so much fun!  Throughout the whole day we walked past streams and small natural pools and we got to stop, swim, and explore the secrets of them.  My friend and I discovered a waterfall and climbed up it.  It was one of the coolest experiences.  Also, the whole hike was along the stream so we got to adventure and create our own slippery path to navigate it. 

Day 5: 
This was our last day, and do not get me wrong I loved it, but I was really looking forward to a shower, not sleeping outside, and indoor plumbing. This day we rode bikes and finally made it to the Mediterranean Sea.  It was so cool to be able to look into the distance and see the approaching sea.  Then, we rode our bikes right up to the sea and were able to run and jump into the ocean.  It was so much fun and definitely made it on my list of the most fun days I’ve had on NFTY-EIE!

Yam L'Yam was challenging and very rewarding.  The distance we traveled on foot everyday was a crazy accomplishment for all of us.  It was so much fun and a great experience.