On 9 March 2014 18:58, Neil C wrote:
My wife and I visit Israel regularly to see our children and grandchildren who live there, and have grown used to walking there most days.
There are (surprisingly to some) many public forests in Israel often with picnic spots and sometimes toilets and marked routes, and these forests can be worth visiting if you have a hire car.
We usually stay in a sprawling new settlement called Ramat Beit Shemesh which is a few miles south of the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem highway which runs West to East across the middle of Israel. Around there, although the new building proceeds apace, there are many open tracts of countryside and rolling hills crossed by dirt tracks and paths and with some great scenery: bushes, boulders, trees and cactus.
Today we walked to Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh and back (with no maps or waymarks, except occasional mountain bike track markings which we didn’t understand). Unusually it was a little cool (14 degrees or so) with spots of rain. The walk took just under 90 minutes each way with a fair amount of climb and descent over several ridges. We arrived at the Kibbutz and saw the memorial to the 35 soldiers it was named after (“The path of the 35”) killed in an ambush in the 1947-8 civil war.
We entered the Kibbutz and asked if there was anywhere we could buy a drink or water and were immediately offered a drink at the Kibbutz office from their staff kitchen. We asked and were then directed to the shop where we bought water for the return hike, and were given directions on how to exit by the back gate.
A great day out was only spoiled a little by the rain starting as we got back to RBS.
We recommend walking in Israel and there are many interesting areas and even some long distance paths.