So this trip started out with the desire to hike down to “brechat meshusim” (the hexagon pool) which I vaguely knew about as a place that you can jump from a pretty high cliff into water below. Somehow in the beginning I thought that that would be one of the highlights of the trip. It kind of was but…
So my planning methods have never been among the most common, and while this gets me to interesting places, it also gets me to scary places. I didn’t really know or remember where I needed to get to for the hike, but I quickly found the pool of water that I was looking for and it was in an area that 2 rivers joined and not far from a third. (Zavitan, Meshusim, Yehuda). But Google Earth maybe isn’t the best place to be planning a family outing. Regardless, after googling the various options, it semed like following the Meshushim river I had the biggest chance of getting to the Meshushim pool.
Oops. Zavitan is the recommended way, and we kind of got that impression as our bus passed the start point. I had a general feel for where we could meet the river Meshushim and for at least an hour we wandered through fields in a general direction getting cues from the topography. Eventually we found the river and the valley started to become more pronounced, but a path was not becoming evident. Definitely not a marked trail.
Pushing on we noticed that we had arrived in an area where cows were roaming, which was just a point of interest until a bull noticed us and stopped not far from us in the direction that we were walking. It was looking at us and blowing air though his nose. Started reminding me of the rodeo, so I decided that we would be better off up a nearby tree – so we climbed the tree and waited for Mr Bull to pass. He didn’t really want to and kept looking at us in the tree. We tried making noise to scare him away. We tried venturing down and he we start at us. It seemed that we were going to be stuck up in the tree for quite some time. Eventually after a lot of laughing from the tree he made a charge in our general direction, thought better of it and continued on his way. We cautiously made our way down and continued on ours. It looked like the bull had broken its back at some point which was possible in the rocky terrain that we were on…
We pushed on through the wadi which was very overgrown and very difficult to navigate due to the vegetation, but there always seemed some way to duck through the overgrown river and zigzag downward. But we did find some beautiful places where there was no sign that anyone had been there before.
After what was probably another couple of hours after the bull indecent, we had just crossed the river and were coming up the valley wall to find a clearing to continue on and just as we came to a flat area, a second bull had just found the other end of the same clearing. And we startled each other. Immediately the bull started charging in our direction. I started running toward the cliff that dropped down to the river, fell and the boys helped me up. Boaz and I made it the 2 or 3 meters to the cliff edge and jumped down the wall a couple of meters and Shimmy jumped up on a large rock that was beside where I tripped. The bull stopped maybe 5 m from us while all this was happening and we maybe had enough time to ask if everyone is ok. The bull started charging again, at first looking at us, then turning to Shim and ran straight for the rock that he was standing on. He lunged for Shimmy and turned at the same time and ran off on his way. All this took place in less than a minute, but we will all always remember it.
Well that turned in to the intense part of the trip, but we continued for about 10k through the difficult valley and eventually we did come to the Meshushim pool. Of course we weren’t allowed to jump, there were other tourists and a parks authority that limited our jumping to sneaking off a 3 m rock a couple of times. He also pointed out that he could have fined us for coming through what was apparently a nature reserve and that we were supposed to have paid to come into this park… Oh well, it was already getting late and they announce that everyone had to clear out. But we didn’t get down to the Kinneret yet, so continuing following the valley we set out in what was a clear direction. We were quite a ways up from the river which we had to abandon due to the danger of collapse and since the river had joined the Zavitan, had become quite wide and possibly not navigable. We avoided a couple more groups of bulls, but the trail was relatively easy in comparison to the first half of our hike and we covered another 10k until we came to a road after a steady decline and as we started losing light. I don’t remember if we had planned to camp in the Jordan river park, but after another about 3 k of hiking, we found it, found a patch of grass and I wasn’t able to move from that spot until morning. Made dinner sitting down. The boys did most of the work, set up sleeping bags (did we have a tent?) and in the morning we did rafting on the Jordan river and eventually started heading back – which is what we are doing with the chocolate signs above….