Close to Home

FEBRUARY 16, 2021 : A big storm is expected to start this afternoon. For our trip today, we wanted something short and close to home to beat the rain. Before we retired and before the pandemic, Mark would take our oldest grandsons, Lavi and Matan, on hikes after school on different sections of the Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel). The last time they hiked, they reached Yakum, about a 15 minute drive away from home. For today, we decided to continue on the Israel National Trail from Yakum heading south, towards kibbutz Shfayim. Lavi and Matan joined us. 

The morning was beautiful –  warm and sunny. The sky was deep blue with white fluffy clouds. No hint of the storm to come. We caught the trail at the Yakum gas station and from there took the pedestrian overpass over the busy route 4 highway.

From there it was walking through the fields until we reached the Sharon Beach National Park.

Once in the park, the nice walk turned spectacular. We were walking along a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. The clear water of the sea sparkled in different shades of blue.

As usual, we stopped often for snacks along the way.  While sitting on a bench near the end of the cliff (yes, I screamed to get away from the edge several times), I noticed what appeared to be a nude man on the distant beach far below. At home, while looking at Google Maps to get the proper spelling of the places we visited, I noticed that we overlooked what is called the Nude Beach. On the map, there is even an additional nude beach, a few kilometers south – the Shefayim Nude Beach. Never knew there were nude beaches in Israel. Now I do.

As typical to February in Israel, the wildflowers were out in full force.

At one point the trail went steeply down the cliff and we reached the beach below (not the nude beach – a different beach).

After walking a short length along the beach, we climbed up a very narrow trail back up to the top. 

From there we continued in Park Hasharon, not along the cliff path that we have been to many times, but the quicker inland route (the kids had had enough). Along the way we saw a couple of turtles in the wild. We also came across some black irises in full bloom.

After over two hours of hiking, we reached the opposite entrance to the Sharon Beach park – our end point.

From there it was a short walk to the main road, a taxi back to our car, and a short drive back home.  A couple of hours later, the screeching wind and the pounding rain began.

Bye bye nice place.

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