After a great time camping on the sandy beaches of the Sea of Galilee, Jen’s insurance confirmed they will pay for her early return. She has been conflicted about the decision of whether to stay or leave. So many things to consider! Her knee is better but still weakened and carrying her pack would likely cause a relapse. In the end, deciding to leave felt like the right decision for her. So we headed back to Tel Aviv, shell shocked that our time together here in Israel was finishing. She wanted to take me in the car to wherever in Israel I wanted to be. So sweet!
We finished up at The Resort Hostel in Mickmoren, north of Tel Aviv (which is actually closed for the winter but students renting here welcomed us in and told us to pitch our tents in the sheltered tent area) They are helpful and generous even though they were in the middle of their end of the season party.
The next day, with mixed emotions, we sorted through our gear. Jen took down her little tent, rolled up her leaky air mattress and packed them into her trusty red backpack for the last time on Israeli soil. We went back to the druz roadside stand nearby and ate incredibly delicious street food on fresh made druz bread with mouth watering Israeli spices before our sad farewell. Jen returned the car to the airport, spent a solitary night there, and is now winging her way home as I write. Today I sat looking out at the Mediterranean feeling very adrift. I suspect, while excited to see family and friends, Jen is also feeling somewhat lost, looking down on the same sea, having left a chunk of her heart here in Israel. But oh, the pictures and the memories we have!
So what now! I have pondered different options and received dire warnings of the consequences of rushing the recovery for my Achilles injuries. I am mindful of not wanting to worry family and friends by continuing on alone with compromised ankles and no solar power (sadly, my solar charger stopped working a few days ago) but I am compelled to stay on the trail if I am able. I feel that we have been guided and protected every step of this journey; even our injuries feel somehow purposeful. I will stay in the north where villages are frequent. I will go slowly, rest often and take the utmost care.
Time is a funny thing – our rich experiences hiking and surviving in the immense grandeur of the Negev Desert feels like long ago; it also feels like Jen and I have been dear friends for many years when, in fact, we only met a few times before leaving on this crazy adventure; and likely, once she is home for a couple weeks, Israel will feel like a lifetime away. By the same token, she’s only been gone a night and a day and it feels like longer. I deeply miss my hiking buddy already. It will take a bit to adjust to our suddenly changed realities.
You never know what’s around the next wadi or why it’s there. Sometimes it’s easy and predictable and sometimes it’s not – but I guess that’s the nature of adventure. And what an extraordinary and wonderful adventure we’ve had! Next post – part two. href=”https://theflipsideoffifty.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/image4.jpg” rel=”attachment wp-att-711″>
Love your spirit and quest for adventure. I am living vicariously through your blog. We’re off to the Netherlands and Provence the day before you get back for a few weeks. Would love to get together when we get back…and to see your blueberry plants. As for Achilles problems, I have torn mine and had tendonosis and now a year with pain in the other one. Have been everywhere, over the last ten years, with best results after physio with the ultrasonic blaster thingy at Manuela’s after an orthopaedic surgeon in Ottawa suggested that. Chantal administered it……extremely painful but had results. If you have any other suggestions or if I can help you out at all, please let me know….it’s a real pain in the ass….ankle actually.
Love to you, my friend…May the wind be at your back…..
You’re far from alone. We are all thinking about you and hold you close to our hearts.
(Hogan, Welbourn, whatever…)