October 1, 2013
Wikiloc Map: Ben Shemen to Emmaus
My wife needed the car, so I decided I’d try and take my under-powered motorcycle on back roads to get to the start. What would have been a 45 minute ride in the car took and hour and half, but it was very scenic and a pleasant. Needless to say, I got a later start on the trail than I had hoped.
This was an OK day — not a lot of fascinating stuff, but at least it wasn’t right on top of freeways. Mostly hiking through forests, some open areas. Not far from the parking area, near the village of Gimzo, was another war memorial. Near Modi’in there was an area with a few Roman-era ruins, not much to see. During the Roman period this area saw a lot of agricultural activity. They must have been hard working farmers, the ground was very rocky. After crossing highway 431 the trail goes along an area of open space, some agricultural, and winds around an industrial park. Near the end it crosses under Highway 1, and I caught up with a guy who’s a “through hiker,” started at Tel Dan about 3 1/2 weeks ago, on his way to Eilat. The usual “post-Army” experience. He was certainly in good shape — I was jogging, and he asked if I mind if he jobs with me and I of course said, “no problem.” He was running with a full backpack with food and sleeping bag. I was running with a day pack, and it was almost drained of water. But he kept up. On the other hand, he’s 21, and he’s impressed that I was running from Lebanon to Egypt at the age of 57. I guess we both had our handicaps… 🙂 The trail would have stopped at Latrun, but I continued another kilometer to monastery at Emmaus. I study Torah there once a month, and my timing worked out perfectly. Not only did I arrive in time for lunch, it was the feast day of St Therese, who is said to be one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. There was a very nice lunch in honor of the feast day.
The New Testament says Jesus appeared to two disciples at Emmaus after his resurrection. The present monastery is located on the site of a 6th century Byzantine church.
“Wikiloc map: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=5353095”
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(Israel Trail Day 21 — Ben Shemen Forest to Emmaus)