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First day--Senir Stream Nature Reserve

 
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binny



Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 22


Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:34 pm    Post subject: First day--Senir Stream Nature Reserve  Reply with quote

My first day on the trail in September, I paid the fee to go through the Senir Stream Nature Reserve. The trail winds its way through the park. It wasn't long before I found myself hopping from rock to rock, trying desperately not to get my boots wet.
I finally decided it wasn't worth the effort, so I turned around and headed back. Suddenly I slipped on another rock and down I went, hitting my knee and then my head in the process of going underwater. (Luckily it was only a few inches deep.)
Question...does the trail really go down through the stream or was I just disoriented and temporarily lost?
Based on my experiences, I can see why some hikers more experienced with the trail would decide to simply walk the road around the park (a 20-min. by-pass) rather than spend the money/time to end up with wet feet!
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yankale
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 412



PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order not be surprised it is advised to read the whole guide  before leaving home. The minimum required is to read the day's hike description before starting the hike in the morning.

Here is what it says on day 2 of the hike: Dan to Tel Hai:

"Behind the museum you'll find the official starting point of the INT (0.0, 190). Take the traditional picture here. The yellow security gate behind the trail sign opens at 08:00. Go out of the gate, make a left turn, hike towards the Dan Nature Reserve and turn right (0.3, 200). Continue along the fence of the Reserve and turn left. Continue west and pass a cattle grid (0.8, 205). Hike under a power line and cross a creek of the Senir River (3.0, 195). Remember to remove your hiking shoes. Some 100 meters downstream you will cross a second creek. (This creek may be dry in summer and fall). Continue west and make a left turn onto a paved road (3.9, 185). Continue south and arrive at the Senir Nature Reserve (5.0, 160). This is the only place on the INT where you need to pay an entry fee. Turn left at the entrance in the direction of the Senir River. Here too you should remove your hiking shoes and hike in the water. After your water hike continue in a general southerly direction until you come to the exit  from the Reserve. "

Here is what all hikers do:







If one wants to avoid wet feet and the entry fee one should bypass the park before the entrance.  If you hesitate about the exact way the bypass goes (it is clearly marked there) simply ask a ranger at the gate and they will show you the way and also provide you a very detailed map (1:1000) of the area.

Also it is very important to read here on the forum about trail and guide updates before leaving home.  On page 2 of the guide there is a reminder to get the most recent updates on the forum.

Here is a post from May 2013 that provides the exact answer to your concern.


Last edited by yankale on Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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binny



Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 22


Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I wasn't "lost." I knew the guidebook said to remove shoes but that's not really practical when one's feet are very sensitive/aching and one doesn't have sandals or slippers to put on instead.
When I went back to the ticket office the lady thought I was demanding my money back. No, all I wanted were directions to the road.
The McDonald's at the end of the road soothed frayed nerves, skinned knee and the bump on my forehead (even tho' the clerk gave me a milk shake instead of a fruit smoothie).
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yankale
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Posts: 412



PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a Global announcement on this forum Preface to the guide, gear, preparations, water caching trip. It is THE most visible topic of the entire forum.
It is strongly recommended to download and read it. On page 10 items # 3 & 5 say:

3. A pair of hiking poles
5. Sandals / crocs
.

Sandals are meant to be used when you cross a water stream or walk in the water.

From Dan to the Senir river preserve it is  ~4 km (2.5 mi) on a flat terrain, which is ~2 hours for an average hiker including a 20 min. brake. It is quite unusual that "one's feet are very sensitive/aching" after only ~2 hours on the trail. Thousands of hikers on their first day on the INT, enter the Senir river nature preserve, take a short break immediately after the gate where there are numerous picnic tables. They take off their hiking shoes and put on the sandals/crocs.

Hiking poles are a MUST for every hiker. They will prevent the unfortunate mishap that you had while going back to the gate.

As for the McDonalds lady who served you a shake, I suggest to enter your comment here :wink:


Last edited by yankale on Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:43 pm; edited 3 times in total
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binny



Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 22


Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha...I can send them the video I shot of my placing the order. I asked for a "smoothie" and got a "shake." I guess it was my english. It tasted great anyway.

But seriously, I have what's called a Mortons neuroma on the bottom of my foot. Chronic pain in the 2nd metatarsal bone that never goes away. As for Crocs, I don't carry them because I don't have extra room in my pack. If I have to get my feet wet, then fine, I'll deal with it. But if I have a choice, I avoid the stream.
By the way, the first crossing of the Senir in the cow pasture was easy. The water wasn't deep plus there was an old board to step onto. One hop and I was across.
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yankale
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for being a bit harsh on you Binny :wink: . After ~5 years of preparations and ~100 of your questions being answered here and on the old forum, you should have been the #1 hiker on the INT as far as being prepared for the journey. I hope I am excused for not being nice this time. I wish your next experience on the INT is a good one, including a smoothie at McDonalds...  :)
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binny



Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 22


Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem! What I find interesting is discovering the differences between the INT and the American trails I've done (AT, PCT, CDT). I've done over 10,000 miles without using sandals or hiking poles. But then again, those trails had springs and creeks everywhere. Water was never an issue. (Well, there were a few 20-40 mile stretches on the PCT.)
So the INT offers some rather unique challenges. That's why I was also exploring the possibility of roller packs. (I tried the Monopack that Yoash Kachner had at Kibbutz Daphna but decided to stick with my external frame pack.)
There's no place on the earth like Israel!
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yankale
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Joined: 27 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The INT is not too challenging if one reads all the info. before leaving home. You may find water caching in the desert a unique experience but other than that the INT is definitely less challenging than the AT or PCT and definitely the CDT.

Hope you don't give up on the INT and give it another chance but this time without surprises and mishaps  


Last edited by yankale on Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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binny



Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 22


Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trust me, I will hike the trail if I have to crawl on my hands and knees to finish it.
One aspect of the trail I'll have to get used to is that everyone's so friendly. That and the fact that pretty much every day I have to "check in" with civilization.
I say that with tongue-in-check (and an eye wink) because I'm sort of a hermit in real life. I keep to myself. When I go hiking, I like to be in wilderness and hope to not see folks for several days in a row.
But on the INT one has to buy water every day.
It's my own personal hang-up. I'm sure it's a good thing that I get drawn out of my little shell and back into the international family of man. After all, going beyond one's comfort zone is what hiking is all about!
It's like when I was leaving Kfar Giladi on the 2nd day. I had stopped there to buy some chocolate milk from their store. I was prepared to camp in my tent. But a car pulled up and the lady leaned out the window almost begged me to please use the free room they had at the Kibbutz. So I did (and I'm glad I did).
Israel is great!
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yankale
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



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