Deep in the West

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March 12th 2016
Published: March 15th 2016
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We woke up way earlier than anyone should on Spring Break today. About 5:30, to be precise. We hopped on a bus with about 40 other people at 6:30 for a hike with an alternative travel company. An hour and a half later, we were deep in the West Bank, the semi-desert hills.

Most of the other hikers were ex-pats living in Israel, although a couple were also just visiting the area. Some were American, some Canadian, one or two British, Belgian, or French, and a few more from around the world. All of them were very nice people and wonderful to talk to, and made for a wonderful hike!

All in all, we did about 16 km, or about 10 miles, while climbing about 2000 feet in elevation. There was approximately 0 vegetation apart from low grass. We were required to bring 4.5 liters of water, and I was glad they did, thanks to the heat and dryness of the desert, combined with the actual hiking itself.

There’s little to say about it, especially as pictures tell 1,000 words, so I’ll stick to those!

After the hike, we had the privilege of visiting a bell pepper farm, as the West Bank is where many of the ones sold in Europe and Russia are grown. After visiting the packaging plant, we then got to see the plantation and fields. Date trees on one side, which are apparently hard to harvest, as they grow on the top of palm trees. The other side had thousands on thousands of pepper vines. In total, enough to produce more than 40,000 tons of peppers every year. A vegetarian's dream!

We got back home around 7:00, which gave us time to pack, before going out to meet two of Marie’s friends who were in for the weekend. We went to a wonderful Israeli-tapas place and enjoyed several delicious dishes and, of course, a bottle of Israeli wine.

We went home around 11:30, and to sleep shortly after. She has to be up to work tomorrow, and I have to be out at 4:15 (ugh!) to catch my flight. It’s been quite a trip, but Boston is calling my name!

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