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  1. #21
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I've known of this trail but too little it seams. Your pics were wonderful. Thank you for posting...any fears being that area? or is that too political a question for the mods?

  2. #22
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedicineMan View Post
    ...any fears being that area? or is that too political a question for the mods?
    Not so far.
    It's a legit question.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #23
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    If you do your homework ahead of time and are aware of what's going on and use common sense and so forth, you shouldn't need to be afraid of being in this part of the world. Things have been quite safe here for the last few years. BUT, things often change rapidly. Some recent political developments mean anything could happen in the coming months. But then again that's always the case.

    In short, it's not significantly more dangerous than driving to work. Probably less. But you have to be aware and informed.

  4. #24
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    'But you have to be aware and informed' and that's legit advice for about anywhere.
    Thanks again for your input. Years ago I spent a summer in Egypt....honestly don't think I'd go back there; now Israel is another matter-such a huge draw there-your pics don't help

  5. #25
    Senior Member WarmSoda's Avatar
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    Masada revisited

    I don't want to get into the history, but for geography's sake I want to mention that there is a place called Masada just east of the Dead Sea. My wife and I visited it on a day trip bus tour in 2005. Its south of the Ahava factory where all the Dead Sea salt comes from. There's a trail to the top, but also a gondola available to take people to the top. It's set up like a national park with a museum and gift shop even.

    I can't image being in a hammock anywhere near there though, since I don't remember a single tree and, believe me, a tree would have been memorable.

    Great pics and great trip report of an exotic international destination!!

  6. #26
    Senior Member affreeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
    I just uploaded pictures from the desert section of the trail...
    Awesome! Don't know why I just ran across this thread today.

    My wife and I will be heading to Israel in October; not to hike, but we'll be bicycle touring from the Golan Heights south to Eilat. I can't wait!
    ~
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  7. #27
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    Smile Hammock on the INT

    Quote Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
    I'm about 80% of the way through a 2 month trek from Eilat to the Lebanon border with Israel. I'd consider this a world class trail; in 1000 km it's got massive, isolated desert, biblical hills, dramatic mountains like the Carmel, Meron and the area around Jerusalem, coastal seashore, rolling hills and valleys in the Galilee, and the great rift valley (here, it's the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley). In spring, it's mild weather with green grass and brilliant wildflowers everywhere (well, not in the Negev). For the non-desert part, there are towns near the trail every day, so you never need to carry more than a day's worth of food.

    Anyway, just thought I'd spread the word about the trail since I've enjoyed it so much. Hammockers may despair at the fact that 40% of it is in a desert where hammocking is impossible, but I've successfully hung on the other 60% and I didn't mind sleeping under a tarp for three weeks in the desert.

    Selling points - it's a beautiful trail, which takes you through hugely different landscapes in a small distance, challenging but doable by most people, in a first-world country that's still quite exotic (besides all the religious and historical interest, and the variety of cultures and religions you'll encounter along the way), and quite safe - it stays within the borders of Israel proper and out the occupied territories, and the only real hazard is getting injured or dehydrated in the desert, which is easily avoided if you are prepared.

    Mostly it's Israelis hiking it, but I've run into about half a dozen other Americans - including four grizzled old AT vets with 9 pound base weights (though they found it a bit rough carrying 5-6 liters of water through the desert I think). I'd go with a group if possible since you may feel left out if you're the only gentile and non-Hebrew speaker in a group you find here, but you'll meet fantastic people for sure, including "trail angels" that let hikers stay in their homes for a night (or sometimes in cabins they've prepared in their yards!). Two Americans I know who hiked it solo said they rarely slept outside, as people they met invited them to stay for the night so often.

    This was the only place in the desert part of the trail where I could hammock. Unfortunately we didn't camp there. You're only supposed to (and should only) camp in designated night camps in order to protect the desert's fragile ecosystem, and none of the camps have trees you could use.




    Anyway, check it out...it's a great trail to hike!
    Hi JP ,

    I'm the author of the "piss-poor...." guide. I'm glad you enjoyed the trail and the people.


    I saw that you mentioned that camping in the desert is allowed only in designated places, this is very important to preserve wild life and the vegetation. I'd like also to mention that the only tree in the Ramon Crater and in the entire desert part of the INT (picture above) should not be used for hammocks but rather for shade only.

    I read that you've paid $60/person for 7 caches, which is not cheap but not extremely expensive considering a jeep with a driver for a full day in the desert. I guess the price is also a matter of how large is the group. In a single ride one can cache water for probably 20 people or more. Not all 20 have to take the ride just one person from a group.

    And I could not have done a better job in promoting the INT. Thanks a lot!

    As to the quality of the guide I guess you had the first edition (2009). Among several other comments, I had one hiker complaining about few Welsh proverbs in the guide. One of them being:

    Gorau adnabod, d'adnabod dy hun * Welsh: "The best knowledge is knowing yourself"

    I'm sure that after hiking the desert for 2-3 weeks it means a lot.

    Anyways we've removed all Welsh and significantly improved the quality of the maps, we've added a daily hiking profile and more. The second edition was published in early 2011.


    Thanks, it's a pleasure to read your posts
    Last edited by yankale; 08-06-2011 at 05:09. Reason: water caches

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