Monday, September 9, 2019

Day 41: More Forests of Jordan!

April 10: We woke up for our normal 7:00am breakfast with an 8:00am departure time. It was a normal schedule for us, but most of our fellow hikers had to work with an earlier schedule since they were scattered between two homestays located elsewhere and needed additional time to commute back to our place.

This was the homestay that Karolina, Gary and I--as well as most of the support crew--stayed at.

The highlight of today's hike were the forests of Jordan. The northern part of the trail runs through a territory thick with oak trees and in one particular place, I'm told, is the only place in Jordan with a real canopy. It hardly seemed like we were walking through the Middle East. It felt more like the Central Coast of California where I grew up!

The canopy was extra nice as well because it provided lots of cool shade on an otherwise very warm day.
Forests do exist in Jordan!

At one particular viewpoint, Lama pointed to the north and said that the end of the trail was in view. It was near a large body of water in the distance--the Sea of Galilee. Just before that, we were told, was the end of the trail. The terrain to the right of the lake was Syria--my first view of Syria!

Near the end of the day, we took a slight detour off the trail to visit Jesus Cave, named that because it supposedly fits the description of a cave in the Bible where Jesus took refuge while escaping Jews... or something to that effect. I know a lot of stories from the Bible, but this wasn't one that I'm familiar with. Nobody, as far as I can tell, says that the cave is definitely the one described in the Bible--just that it matches the description found in the Bible.

The cave was used as an olive press, so we got a tour of how the ancient olive press worked.

At the end of the day, we camped next to the ruins of Jesus Church--probably named for the nearby Jesus Cave--which had wonderful views. After choosing tents and setting up camp,  I headed out to Jesus Church to explore the ruins--which wasn't much different than all of the other ruins we had seen along the trail but it was something to do.

I returned in time for dinner, then watched the sunset before calling it a day.

After eating breakfast, I was positively stuffed! I couldn't eat another bite!
I found this large bug in the sink in the kitchen, unable to claw its way out on the stainless steel sides.

I asked Qussai if he'd carry me down the trail too, but he said no. =(

This is Tim during a snack break.

Black iris
Olive press above Jesus Cave
Olive press in Jesus Cave
Lama translates the information the guy in the black shirt was providing about the olive press.
It's a raw almond, straight from the tree!
In case you wanted to see the inside of it. (Sorry it's so blurry!)
Dinner is served!

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