Paul Dobinson has just returned from our Walking in Palestine tour and shares with us some of his highlights from the trip.
Walking in Palestine - what a trip! You get the lot - fantastic fresh healthy food, beautiful walks in scorching hot sunny weather and a chance to meet people of different religions and cultures.
We met with the Samaritans, a religion that has now less than a thousand members worldwide and is having to make changes to its founding principles to survive. We met their leader and his and the presentation given by an engaging Muslim lady was excellent. We had homestays and dinners with Palestinians, Bedouin and Palestinian Christians. These were excellent and I found that the Poker Dice and Land Rover photos are the key to a successful visit! Certainly the children were far better at Poker than I was.
We got an understanding of what daily life is like in the Occupied Territories. Life goes on and soap must be made - the soap factory visit was fabulous; a simple process but an engaging visit. Oh and don't miss out on the brewery visit (and sample) in Teybeh at the end of a very long and hot hike.
These were well chosen - each was different and some quite challenging. They were enhanced by our guide Nidal's knowledge of the geography, fauna and history. We were also blessed to have Spike as our tour guide and day four introduced the first of his geographical quizzes ('what are the 6 UN countries that start and finish with the same letter excluding "A"?'. I think it took us 2 - 3 hours to answer that!).
The monasteries visited were stunning to view - all built in canyons in the middle of nowhere. However, these were out done by the Temple Mount in Jerusalem which is a stunning place to be, especially if you get there early.
A fabulous trip.