The first really Hamsin dry heat wave, which customarily coincides with the approaching of Passover season, swept on the day, we took a hike in
Nahal Amud National Reserve
This hike, along one of the most attractive streams in Israel. was most suitable activity in nature, before we continued, the following day , on a guided tour of the Golan Heights.
Driving north on route 866, about 1.5 Km, passed Kefar Shamai (named after Shammai the Elder, who was the partner of Hillel the Elder.) which is situated west of Safed, the narrow off road to the right, leads to the Park's Reservation entrance gate.
In addition to the very hospitable park worker, who charged us very reasonable senior's fees for the pleasure of exploring the Upper level of the Amud stream, an amazing carpets of wild flowers in full' bloom greeted us, when approaching the parking lot.
Nahal Amud - Pilar River
known as the Wadi al-Amud, the stream flows in the Upper Galilee and into the Sea of Galilee. The source of the stream, Ramat Dalton, is located 800 meters above sea level.
Perennial stream, small casacdes, rock pools, lush vegetation characteristic of riverbanks, remnants of structures, like water carrier, flour mills, and prehistoric caves are all all nesting in this beautiful Wadi.
The Amud – after which the stream is named, is an impressive limestone pillar, which we didn't reach on this hike.
It rises to a height of 20 m, above ground, and has been shaped by a processes of erosion, which separated the upright pillar from the adjacent cliff. It stands alone in the channel of the stream at the Lower part pf the park's reserve near Kibbutz Hukok,
The Upper stream landscape along the rocky trail, which leads down to the flowing river
is an easy down hill walk of about 40 minutes and through-out a colorful flowery spring bloom..
The first historical abandoned structure, we encounter along the trail - a Police Station
En Tina police station – is an abandoned, concrete building, pocked by bullets, and inflicted by a risk of collapse, which was built by the British during the 1936-1939
The building was intended to guard the pumping station at En Yakim – the spring that rises at the foot of the hillside.
En Yakim – is a plentiful spring that flows all year round. The name commemorates the Yakim that was one of the priestly families who moved to Galilee after the destruction of the Second Temple.
The Mandate-era fortified pumping station brought water up from the spring to the near by Sefad.
The Nature and Parks Authority's pressure, resulted , pumping from the spring stopped in 1995 and all the spring water now flows into the stream..
A remnant of a water mill
An narrow aqueduct which carries water against the rock leads it from the spring and in the past served all the flour mills along the spring, and the still growing orchards.
The strong water flow slows down into several quaint Water Pool where drabs of noisy orthodox children took over the space, and waded in them.
The Climb up the steps from the bottom of the Wadi at the heat peak of the day, and back to the parking lot, was much less exciting for me, but more satisfying for David, who loves steep excruciating challenges much more than I do.
The flowers spread was a great consoling distraction, on the reverse way.
Driving further North on route 89 by the foothill of Sefad, and then toward the sea of Galilee, onto Hwy 90, which revealed spectacular views, lead us to Migdal intersection.
Our friends Idit and Shilo already waited for us, when we made it to the fabulous
Magdalena best Arabic gourmet restaurant, off Hwy 90 / 04-673-0064, over looking the Arbal Cliff, where we had a fabulous dinner.
It was already dark when we further drove up north to the Golan Hights, on Hwy 91 and left on rout 978 which landed us in the small agriculture community of Shaal , where we spent the night at the most quint romantic accommodation:
Achuzat- Bar Guest House in Shaal 053-9387394 consists of only 5 large units, enchantingly decorated,, well equipped and run by most hospitable Liora and Arik.