Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hiking Nahal Ein Hogla

Nahal Ein Hogla, the Hogla Springs River, runs along the southern side of the settlement at Beit Hogla. In the distance, we could see a grove of palm trees with some sort of abandoned fortifications. So it was time to go exploring.

Adam, looking ahead at the grove and hilltop.

Approaching the hilltop.
What appears to be the turret of a tank on the hilltop. Inside the hill, mysterious caves. And some sort of hawk in the upper right hand corner of the photo adds to the drama.

At last, we arrive at the tank. The front end is dug into the hill, and it looks as if it hasn't been used for quite some time.

Inside the tank.
Yours truly, on top of the tank. The structures in the back left is Beit Hogla. The two towers supply water to the adjascent border guard base of Mul NevoStanding on the turret of the tank, it's possible to see a fortified bunker surrounded by barbed wire. In the background is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Adam slides down the hillside into the caves below.

I follow shortly thereafter, camera in hand.

The caves appear to be somewhat recent. The hill is not really stone but merely a light, soft sort of mudcake. Thus, these caves would have been relatively easy to build. I am willing to be that they were made relatively recently, since anything too old would have eroded away. They were probably part of the fortifications of this hilltop. But that's just a guess, of course.
Looking back at Nahal Ein Hogla

Looking from out the cave, I decide to take a risk and jump into Nahal Ein Hogla. Camera in one hand, I leap from the cliff, landing on the loose rock below. Unfortunately, my heroic landing wasn't quite as well-coordinated as I had hoped. I twisted my anke and fell on my back. Suddenly, I found myself sliding down the steep hill, head first, unable to stop. The first part of my body to hit the bottom of the Wadi was my head, but the rest of my body had such powerful momentum that it wanted to keep going, so I had the unusual sensation of watching my body pass over my head as I somersaulted, pivoting on my twisting neck, landing face-down in some thorny bushes. It hurt like hell.

The cliff from which I jumped/fell

I was eventually able to extracate myself from the bush. I had twisted my ankle, torn up my neck pretty badly, and was covered in bleeding cuts. But otherwise, I was okay and could walk again after five or ten minutes.

Walking back, Adam and I came across some loose ordinance.

Uh, Adam.... please don't touch that.

A closer look. I think it's a mortar round with the charge removed.

Walking back, we decided to take a different route. Those palm trees on the horizon are the Greek Monestary.

The settlement at Beit Hogla. It looks positively flourishing and tropical, compared to where we just were.

And it was time to shower, dress my wounds, and prepare for Shabbat.

1 comment:

frumhouse said...

Wonderful photos! What an amazing hike!