I slept pretty well last night. The ocean is unbeatable for ambient white noise. When I woke up, I was quickly brought back to reality as I had to pee, and we were on a public beach. I watched people slowly stroll by with their dogs and eventually, when the coast was clear - literally - I ran and peed as fast as I could. Not even a few minutes went by before a herd of young men went jogging by. We had breakfast then packed. I ripped my sleeping back and had a moment of panic when I temporarily misplaced my phone. Not the best start to my morning but you win some, you lose some.
Once we were on trail we almost immediately headed inland and saw a ton of mountain bikers on trails. We talked about Russ' knowledge of bikes and the sport which I know almost nothing about, but seems to attract middle aged men. Eventually we were on a paved road, and then a plaza near the highway. We went in to get water and the hostess gave us two sandwiches (tomato mot pesto - aka amazing), cold water and chatted with us a bit. Trail magic if I've ever seen it. As we walked out of the coffee shop we chatted with a biker guy quickly who had a handful of questions for us, and offered us money which was new. Then, back over the highway and into a nature preserve. We were up on a dune, with scrubby bushes and a good sized cliff overlooking the ocean. It looks like California sometimes. We strolled in the sand and eventually took a break on a bench, but got swarmed by little kids having snack time then nap time. I swear all the school kids here do is go on field trips! Anyways. We pressed on, played weird games with our trekking poles and strolled over the trail. Mostly flat, sandy, piece of cake. We stopped at a picnic table for lunch, and had weird ramen noodles but it was filling so whatever.
After lunch we walked down to the beach. Mmmm bliss. Shoes came off and we strolled for a while, then lounged at the end of the sand. The trail then took us up over a marina type area with some shops then back down to the beach. We strolled for about 2 km before switching it up and... drum roll please!!!! RENTING BIKES! City bikes. So much fun. Yay for bikes! They are much easier on the body and we got into town so much sooner! We rode around under the sun then returned the bikes upon arrival to the downtown area and walked to our home for the night.
We are staying with a trail angel off the list, in a cute home on the third floor of a building off Dizengoff, one of the main streets in Tel Aviv. The house has this weird upper middle class styling of my parents Jewish friends. It's such a distinct style but I have no idea what to call it. We are staying with a girl (who is in university now but hiked last year) and her parents. We showered, they did our laundry, I had an interview, we were fed, and then we ran some errands. I tried on a few shoes but nothing was right or even close to wide enough.
This post feels blah but I'm exhausted and having trouble keeping my eyes open. Town days are always crazy.