Date: Feb. 8th/2021
Place: Ein Kefira - Jerusalem Mountains
Instruct WAZE to get you to : NATAF (Jerusalem Mountains)
About 800 m before the entry to Nataf village, STOP when you see on the road's left side, a post sign directing to a Memorial and Forest dedicated in 1995 to the destroyed communities of "Polish Jewery" . Over 15 large communities, some in the biggest cities (Warsaw, Lublin, Lodz, Krakow) and many in small ones, are mentioned on the site.
Park the car across the memorial, on the road's right side. at the parking lot.
From the parking lot to your right, a 50 m' path leads you to a walking trail marked by Green which veers off to the Left. It will take you down toward the dry Kefira creek.
1 km walk along the well marked trail, at times over steep rocks ( about an hour) , will land you at the small Kefira fresh water spring.
Another hour, in reverse on the same trial will gets you back to the parking lot.
A day after the prolonged movement restrictions got lifted, and the shameful trial of Israel's Prime-Minister Bibi, finally resumed, 3 good reasons to be jolly about considering ,also the winter's unusual warm weather weather, we like many deprived Israelis who have been cooped-up during the closure, also ventured out to the open space and solace which nature offers.
Driving away from TLV, on HWY 1 toward Jerusalem we veered off into Abu Gosh.
This charming hilly Arab-Israeli village, 10 km west off Jerusalem is famed across Israel for its fifteen amazing hummus restaurants, vocal music festivals, and long settlement history. Driving through to get to Nataf - (a small village of about 100 families) David could not resist stopping at a local car wash in Abu Gosh off route 425.
There were no no lines, the service was fast, but what we were led to believe was a bargain, ended up costing much more than expected...
Well... at least we dusted off the car which parked idle all these long weeks, and got to continue with a cleaner shiny vehicle...
The mountainous scenery, off the trail's side, on which we walked, this February sunny summer-like day, was lush green and flowery , but barren and rugged on the side across, where the tilted geomorphological layers, were fully exposed.
Enchanting colorful bloom of Anemone -Calaniot , cyclamen-Rakafot , and Squill- Chatzavim flowers, delightfully welcomed us, along the winding trail.
Even the delicate buds of the Shkedia- almond tree had an early flowering and its white delicate petals, shyly covered the tree's naked branches.
In addition to the dazzling flowering along the trail-side, remains of long abandoned agricultural terraces and orchards, which new much better era, were in full view.
2 friendly local dogs, craving for human attention, so absent during the long lock down, had, unsolicited adopted us. These dogs which greeted us upon arrival, accompanied us on the trails, running ahead loyally guiding the familiar way, from the parking lot, down the creek and back, .in most professional doggy manner.
In contrast to the soothing green carpeting of the rounded rocky hills, the pebbles' white glare off the serpentine dry Kefira creek, at the bottom of the valley, was blinding but sad.
Ein Kefira, only 10 km from Jerusalem, is a shoot off stream from the larger Ayalon River
a perennial stream originating in the Judean Hills and discharging into the Yarkon River in the area of Tel Aviv.
The water spring which the trails we hiked on leads to is actually a cement pool 2.5 by 1.5 m, hidden within the wide branches of an huge fig tree, and there are also pomegranate and almond trees by the pool
Hirbat Kefira - are ruins that are found, of a settlement once inhibited by the Gibonites - a separate ethnic group from biblical times, descendants of the Hivites and Amorites, who occupied the Promised Land before the arrival of Israelites, and who made a false peace pact with the biblical Joshua Bin Nun.
When we started the hike in midday, only we with the guide-dogs, were luckily the ones on the trail, which got much more congested on our way back.
Since the trail was quite narrow, steep, rocky and still muddy from the previous week's heavy showers, about 45 minutes into the challenging walk, still spared of any slippery incidents, we decided not to further risk our good fortune, and gave up on continuing to the water spring destination. The photos sufficed our curiosity...
It was worthwhile to stop on the way back on route 425 in Abu Gosh, at the local great butcher and stock up on great reasonably priced meat.
The Butcher and Supermarket next to it, are opened both 24/7 at
Hashalom St, Abu Gosh Tel: 02 653 6666 or 02 671 1664
There is so much more to see in the area , and that requires another trip...