Our week began with the last sessions by leora and rodrigo, the sadness from our hearts could be felt throughout beit shmuel and the whole of jerusalem. With yet heavier hearts we entered our last session on the conflict. The session was filled with intense thought as ideological zingers rocheted across the circle only to be deflected by deep thought on the subject at hand. As the weekend drew on many returned weary from there long quests across eretz yisrael, the kvutza travelled far and wide over the weekend in search of adventure and in the hope finding something, anything to hold on to in our memories of shnat.
And then began...
THE LAST TIYUL ON ETGAR EVER
Day 1. Our Etgarnicks got up and left Beit Shmuel at 4am to embark on their last ever Tiyul as Savyon. Sleepy eyed after panicked 5am underwear washing and searching the flat for any traces of toilet paper, we arrived at En Yivka, face to face with a man so grumpy, not even nature dared to argue with him… our tour guide Guy. The sun was beating down our backs as we sweated through a draining 6km hike, passing many stealthy cows and bush bashing through wild wheat fields. We finally arrived at our first campsite, with our legs in unbearable pain and our water bottles running low. The tranquil pool of sparkling water cured our dry cynicism, where we cleansed our abrasion riddled bodies. The rest of the evening was filled with finding natural resources to make a dinner that could fill our empty stomachs.
Day 2. We clambered out of our sweaty tents that had deconstructed from a night of howling wind and stress from the looming mountains that stared down at us. Our first challenge was the creek of death that took many hiking boots to their graves.
We then hiked through a vineyard, scratching our skin until we were covered head to toe with deep scars and reached a deserted monastery at the base of a mountain. The heat was so unbearable that we were forced to break in the middle of a village to eat weird pineapple icy poles (or popsicles for you americans) under the heavenly shade of a small bus shelter. We followed Guy’s bad dad jokes through fields of cows and a small artists village until we finally reached our campsite for the night in Kibbutz Yagur, the second largest Kibbutz in israel. That afternoon we cooled off with ridiculous amounts of watermelon and orange juice, waiting in line for our shower, restricted to 30 seconds each. The night was filled with weird games, which included guessing whose clothes were whose via smell, and singing around the campfire.
Day 3. As dawn ruptured the churning sky, our fearless tiyulniks awakened to take on a new day. After a vast feast of cornflakes and chocoloate spread wraps, we plunged into the journey of our lifetimes.
The Carmel mountain loomed over us as we stared fearfully into its heavy eyes. Every step we took, the task at hand became ever closer to it's conclusion.
We took a well needed break at the top, resting our lead-footed bodies. We began the gradual descent, physically and emotionally. A second challenger appeared in the form of a vicous incline, but we fought it with the spirit and strength of champions. The landscape quivered under our might as we took a cheeky water break.
After this shining achievement, the day sped on as we raced towards the campsite. We finished the day, dripping with sweat and glory.
And behold, what glory it was! We rejuvenated slowly and pondered our expedition's progress. Late in the night, fireflies cast light onto our frolicking card game, spoons. We fell into a velvet sleep soon after.
Day 4. Our plucky refuge awakened at a luxurious 6:30 in the morning. Bleary eyed, we wiped sleep from our eyes as we set off for the penultimate day. We explored ancient caves and listened to the eternal dripping of stalactites. After a merciless descent, we regrouped and soldiered on up over the next relentless hill. We eventually arrived in paradise, Yotam's Inn. A little oasis of socialism in the big bad world, we settled in quickly.
Day 5. After a short hike we were finally done! And so, the saga of Northern Tiyul was done. That's your bedtime story done now, time to tuck yourselves in.
Sleep well from Joe, Leigh, Sam and Michael 😘