Zero! Well, nearo?
Idk. It's really hard for me to write tonight because I just got rejected from a dream job of mine. Aka still on the hunt, aka super bummed and honestly starting to debate what I'm even qualified to do after almost a year of being a bum hiker. Maybe I'm not qualified to do anything and should just keep on plodding my way around the globe selfishly and slowly grinding my body down to dust. Did I mention I'm in a bad mood? Sorry.
Today was strange because we decided to take a day off. Every single northbounder had told us that today's section sucked. It was flat, and uninteresting and there is no need to hike it. For those reasons, and the fact that we haven't had a day off since we started, we went for it. We slept in, read, played cards and once it got too hot to be in the tent, packed up and stuck out our best hitching thumbs. We got a ride a few km's to a junction, which was easy enough. Then, because it's Israel and the whole country is the size of New Jersey, a bus came. We skipped the first one in hopes of a ride but the road was fast and another bus came by so we hopped on. The whole thing was packed with military kids. I literally stood in the bus stairwell the whole ride. Russ also had to basically unpack his whole pack to get to his wallet. Who puts their wallet at the bottom on a travel day? I do not understand his logic sometimes. After one stop at a military base and offloading a small number of kids, we got dropped off at the following stop. We got off and decided since it was almost lunch to pop into a cafe. We proceeded to have one of the best meals we've had this trip, and I don't know if it's because we were hungry or what.
Anyways we stuffed our hearts content and lavished in the cool amazingness of this adorable cafe that seemed like it could have belonged in Stehekin, Washington. Then we wandered our way to the Neot Smadar Kibbutz. We had been told by a few people we needed to come here as part of the trail otherwise you haven't really done it - like a rite of passage. We strolled through the run down houses and when we arrived at the massive art center (which is extremely phallic looking), we called the trail angel’s number. A young guy came and showed us the cafeteria, then our home for the night (a cement area with some mattresses and a thatched kind of roof). We spent the afternoon showering, rinsing socks out and eventually going for a stroll of the massive place. I also pulled a decent sized splinter out of my heel. Blah. We did some more Internet catch-up (this is when I got the bad news), then went to dinner around 7.
Dinner was interesting. No one talks, and you sit at the next available seat, and it's kind of nice, but also kind of sad. Food can be such a great way to bring people together yet here was a room full of people just eating in silence like it was another task to cross off the list. It was strange, and meditative, yet so so utilitarian and bland. The food was healthy, lots of vegetables and sadly, for hikers, not super filling. Since Russ and I were the last two at our table we bussed it and walked home to our weird room in the dark, and got lost a few times in the process. Kibbutzim are so strange to me, my brain genuinely struggles to understand them. Also I've been pretty down all evening. Hopefully hiking makes it all better tomorrow. 5 days left.