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June 15, 2009 5 comments Hiking Israel
When I was 19 years old I spent a year in Israel, hiking, exploring, and exploding with excitement and energy, and occasionally spending some time at ulpan. Although I fell in love with the country, as most youngsters do, it came as somewhat of a surprise to me that some 35 years later, my "inner 19-year-old" would resurface and ache to be set free. I felt a real sting of jealousy as my four children one by one, got to go to Israel and relive those incredible moments that were never very far from my mind. It appeared that Israel was catering to the 20 somethings and under, with exciting itineraries filled with exploration and fun, while I felt completely betrayed. I wanted to go on Birthright and do what they were doing. But alas there was no Birthright for "fuddy duddies," that is, those of us 30 years and older. We were destined to be satisfied with a blur of Israel, racing through the pane glass window of a tour bus, a breakneck menagerie of images flying by. At 53 I had had enough. If Israel wouldn't cater to me, I would open my own "catering" service. So I started WomenWalkers, a company specializing in hiking adventures in Israel for women. For over three years now I have uncaged my inner 19 year old along with the inner 19 year old of a variety of 40, 50 and 60 somethings and have had the most amazing time of my life. Israel is simply an extraordinary country to explore. The trails are beautiful, exciting and fun. It's no wonder that every youth falls in love with the country and a real shame that most mature tourists never get to experience it. The lush forests, filled with emerald patches and gorgeous wildflowers in spring, the refreshing pools of water and waterfalls that beckon us in the summertime and the lonely desert canyons filled with mystery and alluring sand stone calls to us in the winter. Every step that you take echoes a moment in time that is palpable.