Sunday, March 17, 2013

Here we go again, round and round again

Every year we have a number of recurring outings, one of them being the annual circumnavigation of the Sea of Galilee, or as the locals call it the Kinneret.
We begin on Friday morning at Kibbutz Ginnosar on the western side and paddle north going up the Jordan or Zaki rivers as they enter the sea, then make our way to the guest house at Kibbutz Ein gev on the eastern side about half way round.
This year we changed our accommodation plans and made it a camping weekend,and moved from January to March so as not to be in the middle of winter.
The forecast was for a heatwave on Friday, in fact that same weekend the Tel Aviv marathon was postponed and made into a half marathon  due to the extreme heat expected, breaking on Saturday with cooler weather and more wind.
So equipped with lots of water to drink and tons of sunscreen we set off.
The biggest change this year was the water level. Over the last few years of drought the water level has dropped and the lake was missing about 5m, this made for larger beaches, and longer walks to the water from the many resorts and sights along the shores. Places that had originally been built on the waters edge found themselves getting further and further from the water and access for boats became difficult.
Not this time, due to the great amount of  rain this last winter the water levels have returned somewhat. There is still about a metre missing, but this was the fullest that I have ever seen the Kinneret for about 10 years.
  I looked for old pictures from more or less the same point of view to show the difference.
In fact there is still a huge amount of water flowing into the sea from the Jordan and Zaki rivers, so the levels will continue to rise for a while longer. Add to that the fact that now we are using desalinated sea water for drinking, making it less necessary to use the lakes water  and the outlook becomes more optimistic.
Anyway, back to to our trip.
Friday night we camped at Kursi Beach, when we got there it was full of youngsters having a great time with loud music, drinks  and dancing. When we arrived they dubbed us  the` old folks club`, but we held our own as we danced to their music while putting up our tents and drank our wine . In fact when they switched off to go home we asked them to stay awhile so we could enjoy the music a bit longer.
After setting up camp came time to prepare the evening meal.

This is always one of the best parts of our trips, and the results are always great. Here we see Danny thawing out his Amazing Tomato Soup that he made the night before, froze and then heated up  to our delight.
Later we had a full scale BBQ, and ate until we couldn`t move anymore.
Of course we had plenty of good stuff to drink,and even enough for emergencies.
In the middle of the night a super strong wind sprang up and didn't let up for the whole night and the next day, making it necessary to change plans and paddle back instead of completing the circumnavigation.
After a good breakfast while we waited to see what the wind was going to do we headed north again this time going up the Jordan river.
When we tried to get back into the Sea and head south we hit a 20+k headwind throwing up waves and spray in all directions. We did an about turn and surfed back to a pick up point and called it a day. Organised the cars and made our way home.
Plans need to be flexible and take into account changes in the weather. Although we didnt go all the way round we had a great trip and a wonderful weekend.
What more can one ask for.



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