Abirim and Bug Bites


 We’re back in Jerusalem after spending a few days up North in Abirim. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. Rolling hills and greenery that dates to well before the JNF replantings of Israeli  pine forests. Great hiking and only an hour to the beach.

On the Way to Abirim

We stayed at a lovely B&B called Makom Balev whose owners also make their own delicious goat cheeses and milk and take people on horseback tours in the surrounding area. We stayed inside one of their ‘shepherd’s huts’–a kind of thatched house with a roof, but still open to the outside. The peaceful location was nestled within the old forests. I enjoyed relaxing on the hammock and looking up through the trees and listening to the chattering birds. You have to walk from the hut to get to the bathroom-which didn’t have a roof and it was quite a fun showering experience. It was a bit more sophisticated than camping in that we had running water and a fridge in our room.

Our Shepherd's Hut at Makom Balev in AbirimWhile the hutlike accomodations were scenic and charming, they did have their disadvantages. Since we returned to Jerusalem we have been nursing the multitudes of bites on our feet, hands, neck–and I have an entire constellation on my left knee. Despite the netting and bug spray that we showered upon the bed, we weren’t spared, and we think that a spider or two was the culprit.

If that’s the case then spider bites really bite. I’ve plunged my feet into cold water and dabbed on hydrocortisone countless times to get rid of the burning and itching. I think next time we go away, we’ll stay in a room with real walls. I like the idea of camping and I really liked Makom Balev, but I don’t want want to be in pain!

But the bites were a tiny part of the trip and the rest of the trip was incredible. (In addition to the bites, we got some really good Arak that sells for quite a lot more back in the U.S.) I’ll leave all of the good stuff for another time.


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