Take me to the river.
Wednesday 16th June
Emerged still fairly tired, to climb onto a coach for today’s tour which included a visit to Nazareth. This turned out to be a very interesting day indeed and we were very glad that we had chosen to do, despite beginning to feel a little jaded about all this side trips.
Our tour guide was excellent and he took us to the location of the sermon on the mount, and the approximate place on the River Jordan where Jesus was baptised (a very commercial spot which is in daily use for full immersion baptisms) and down to the Sea of Galilee where Sarah had a paddle. We travelled along the part of the border with Jordan, saw the Golan Heights and heard all about the life and struggles of Israel and its people. He also explained in great detail the importance in all this of fresh water and that this is really the crux of their arguments with several of their neighbours!
We enjoyed a really wonderful meal in an Israeli restaurant and it seems that one of the other coaches had exactly the same fare, but they sat and had theirs in a nearby Kibbutz.
We got back about 6.00 pm and almost immediately joined a farewell party hosted by the crew of Limbara who are leaving the rally here and heading back to England. They were going to carry on to the next stop at Ashkelon, but were a little put off by the fact that it is very close to Gaza and the town and the marina were frequently the target of rocket attacks during the recent uprising there. Most crews had agreed this evening to join the local yacht club members for evening meals back in their homes but our had declined at first but were persuaded by Hassan, who is one of the organisers, to join him at the home of a former Israeli admiral who has sailed on this rally some 10 times over the years. The Admiral drove the three of us up to the top of Mount Carmel which towers over Haifa and we viewed the panorama of the city which was spectacular. We then went to his new apartment on the 10th floor of a very swish tower block and met all his other guests which included a few other people from the rally. We had a very interesting evening and were eventually driven back to Serafina around 12.30 pm by one of his wife’s friends who has taken at least 6 narrowboat holidays in the UK over the years!
Trevor and Lesley opted again to hire a car and amongst other things visited the Sea of Galilee for a swim. They too joined a family for the evening and by all accounts had a good time as well.