After an okay night’s sleep and waking up to Russ's alarm going off for the second time I finally got up and made myself some oats. I hate having to be the first one to get motivated in the morning but Russ wasn't moving and we had a long day ahead. Once we were both moving we got packed up as the sun rose, and we're hiking shortly around 7:15 (finally an early start and full day). We walked along a road for a while and once we were in town we decided to take a bus to avoid road walking a bit and get us back to the trail. It took us a while before the bus came but when it dropped us off we walked to a mini market and resupplied. Yay food! We snacked on an orange and grape leaves, got greeted by a cute old man who wished us luck then got on the way. We walked up the road then on more paved walkways until we were out of town. We walked through cow farms and scattered trees and had pretty good views of the Sea of Galilee. I put my headphones in because I felt like I was dragging, and it helped a bunch. Music really is medicine. We stopped for a snack and made a pretty big decision. We have decided to cut just under 100 miles off from the trail, in a section after Tel Aviv. My parents recently decided to come visit so we have to be done by a certain day, and this allows us to feel less rushed. I feel torn about skipping miles, but five hundred and some is still pretty good right? Also this way we can be healthier and take care of ourselves. We have time to stretch, read, eat yummy food and enjoy it, soak up the views and so on. I definitely did some damage to my body on the pacific crest so why not enjoy this one?
Anyways, since we made that choice, the pressure to crush kms is totally off, which is really nice. We just follow the book and go from there! We continued downhill for a while and eventually passed though the small town of Kinneret. We had lunch at a weird palm tree grove with a pond, and continued on passed the lowest part of the trail (which is well below sea level). We walked along the Jordan River for a while which is the craziest shade of green. The river is trashed and so are banks, and the water doesn't flow. It's stagnant.
Once we got past the river, we went up. For a while it was slow and on dirt roads then after a left turn the trail climbs steeply for a while. At the top the views are really nice. You can see for a while in most directions. We chatted about the river below and how some speculated it would be dry by 2011, but it seems to be barely hanging on these days. Crazy.
After a snack, we continued on a few more kms and found a nice campsite with an amazing view.
Dinner was gnocchi with pasta sauce living it up! That's all for now, proud that I'm still awake after 7pm tonight!