And this is where this trip becomes a slight blur. Lol! I had no camera at this point (as of, no roll left, no new one bought–nothing!), save a day or two during one of my two kibbutz Couchsurfing stays. Most of those photos, however, are at home in Puerto Rico and will have to be scanned later. For now, I tried to find Flickr shots that best depict my memories of these experiences–hope you enjoy them anyway!
This week is the anniversary of this epic trip of mine, actually. I can’t wait to go on a similar adventure soon.
Want to start from the beginning?
Kibbutz Couchsurfing in Dafna or Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud? That is the question
According to my Couchsurfing references and records, after Couchsurfing in Haifa and having fun road tripping Northern Israel, I headed north. It was either Kibbutz Dafna or Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud. While it is not 100% certain, circumstantial evidence points to kibbutz Couchsurfing in Ein Hathelet first.
Around Netanya, I was kibbutz couchsurfing at Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud. In order to get there from Haifa, I had to take a public bus from Tiberias…then hitch a 20-minute ride from Tiberias to the kibbutz. It was an absolutely thrilling experience. In fact, so many people use the bus stops to hitchhike now, that scheduled buses are a rarity in that area. Yes, the government has actually stopped servicing those areas! And so a decision had to be made: Wait and wait for a bus for possibly hours or follow the advice of a local and hitchhike. I chose the latter!
Photo: Steve Conger
Solo female hitchhiking in Northern Israel?!
In a matter of less then 5 minutes, a sweet Argentinian girl picked me up. Yeah, what are the chances of hitching a ride from another Latina in the middle of a deserted North Israeli dirt road? Happens aaall the time! [/sarcasm] 😉 I was even more thrilled then, speaking in Spanish, wondering how the heck two Latinas where amidst a dirt road in Northern Israel. The Argentinian told me her parents migrated to the Middle East a few years back, so she had spent a good amount of her teenage years in Israel, learning Hebrew and now volunteering. I told her about my crazy solo female Middle East road trip and she couldn’t believe my guts — but without reassuring me that it is very safe to hitchhike in that area of Northern Israel, that she herself does it all the time when she doesn’t feel life driving. Phew!
After being dropped off by the kibbutz entrance, my CS host Gilad greeted me with great warmth. He showed me the grounds and told me how the true kibbutz meaning is somewhat lost nowadays, but that prices are somewhat subsidized to those living there and the sense of community has remained intact. Kibbutz Couchsurfing felt like staying with a big family: Many of his neighbors kept pouring in and out of his humble abode after finding out that a traveling Latina was staying at his place.
While the conversations and memories were many, I’ll list just a few of my favorites for space’s sake:
(photos provided by Flickr, as the many Gilad took I lost on a recent computer crash! *whimpers*)
1. Cycling to the Sea of Galilee, wandering by date palm forests, looking unto the Jordanian border
^ Photo: Yoav Lerman
^ Photo: Bryan_T
Utterly amazing. My host Gilad and I walked by dozens of date palms, took many photos I unfortunately lost, and even peeked at the Jordanian border. Afterward, we cycled dozens of kilometers from Couchsurfing kibbutz Asdot Yaakov Ikud to the Sea of Galilee. We settled by a deserted beach there, which we had all for ourselves. Imagine that: No tourists, just you, a local, and literally a sea of history around you. Just wow. To this day, I still find it hard to put this experience in words…
2. Meeting an interracial Israeli-Nepali couple, learning about Israeli gap years in India & Nepal
^ Photo: doll damned
Wow, what a lovely people. They even taught me how to prepare Nepali curry (easier than I thought!). The most interesting conversation we had, however, involved talking about our faiths, how India has a tourist price/Israeli price/then local price! Right after getting out of required army duty (which one must enter right after high school), Israelis take a gap year and many flock to India. So has been the trend that “Israeli price” in India is just a notch higher than the price a local would pay, and much cheaper than the ones offered to regular tourists! Some of them also visit Nepal, which was our friend’s case, and find love 🙂
3. And theeeeen…I trespassed into a plantation and go terribly lost on my way to Mt of Beatitudes
Yikes! But you’ll have to stay tuned and wait for my next post to read all about it! 😉 I also saw:
Next adventure (part 4): Hitchhiking Israel, Trespassing and Mount of Beatitudes