May 27, 2013
Harduf to Isfiya (Mount Carmel)
Total mileage this day: 16.6 (27 km)
3200 feet (1000m) of climbing
Total mileage since start at Tel Dan: 145 (235 km)
I’ve now finished about 1/4 of the entire Israel Trail; I think I’m still on track to finish by Spring 2014.
Today’s run/hike brought me to the top of Mt Carmel, and thus the conclusion of my second “major segment” of the Israel Trail, from the Sea of Galilee to Mt. Carmel. My next “major” destination is Tel Aviv, which I should reach later in the summer. I did this segment as a “day trip.” It’s a two hour drive from Jerusalem. I managed to actually get an early start and drove straight to Harduf. I parked the car by the turn off to Ka’abiya, and rejoined the trail within about a kilometer. The distance I covered today was what most people treat as a day and a half; I did a little extra on my previous day on the trail.
Most of the 16 miles were pretty easy — dirt roads, flat or downhill. Passed through a lot of agricultural areas and a few forests. Had to wade across Nahal Tzipori, but it wasn’t too bad. There’s an ancient mill at the crossing, a former monastery, which was subject to a vandalism attack last year. Just took off my shoes, the bottom was a little rocky but not bad. Earlier in the year when the stream would have been fuller I could see that it might have been more challenging to wade across. After about ten miles there was a longish stretch through Kfar Hasidim. I stopped at a grocery store for a cold drink. The trail continues and crosses under Highway 70 and goes into Kibbutz Yagur. VERY conveniently, right at the bottom of Mount Carmel was a nice cafe. Very convenient to be able to have lunch and a cold drink before starting the four mile 1,800 foot (550m) climb up Mt. Carmel. This was also much slower going as most of the way it was rugged trail, not a road. At least there was a breeze and some shade. Some excellent views along the way. I finished at the Druze village of Isfiya, right at the top of the Carmel ridge. Mount Carmel has a lot of interesting history, see the Wikipedia entry for more info.
I got to the top about 3:30pm. Given the location and the time, I decided to just take a taxi back to car. It would have been a hassle to try for anything else. A little pricey — NIS 200. But I saved money by not staying overnight this time.
“17 miles (27 km), 3200 ft (>1000m) of climbing See http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=4559449 and http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=4561303”
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(Israel Trail Day 12 Harduf to Isfiya (Mt Carmel); 78 photos)