Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Swirling thoughts #160 - my ears are still popping (part three)

Every pit stop involves a cost-benefit analysis.
The benefit of a refreshing water hike at the midpoint of our journey certainly outweighed its cost (setting up camp after dark).
Quick! Get the bug spray!

Little known camping fact:
Bug spray in Israel is actually Skin-So-Soft in a glass roll-on bottle.

If you plan to camp during a heat wave, I recommend the campground at Kibbutz El Rom, elevation 1050 meters above sea level. Nestled between the Syrian border and an Israeli army base, this is a particularly good destination in the north if you will be camping during a scuffle at the Lebanese border.

If you are camping with a bunch of kids there’s nothing better than camping with a bunch of families with a bunch of kids. And if those families happen to be veteran camping families your camping experience may include fresh pita making in addition to the usual campfire fare (s’mores, potatoes, smoked tuna…)

A word about smoked tuna
It could be the whole world knows about smoked tuna but this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. And I am certain I’ve now learned it from the masters. A group of 13 year old boys on our trip would make a small campfire, open a can of tuna packed in oil, stuff a tissue into the can and light the tissue on fire. Once the tissue burns completely you are left with smoked tuna. These boys were preparing smoked tuna at every opportunity. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Campfire gourmet!

Syria, not Lebanon
At some point during my trip I got an email from my mom asking if we were near the shooting at the border. I reassured her we were at least 20km from that border.

Have (full) Chimigag, will travel
By the second day of the trip I decided the empty Chimigag lacks the aerodynamic prowess of the overstuffed Chimigag. After a morning drive with the Chimigag flap-thumping in the wind like a herd of runaway camels on the roof, I advised Bob against 24/7 Chimigag-ing.

There were 4 kids sleeping with me in that tent
Anyone who’s traveled with lots of small children knows that once the vacation starts at least one of the children will get sick and probably throw up. I’m here to tell you that throw-up in a tent can be cleaned in the middle of the night and order restored with enough wipes, friends and spousal support.

You may experience a slight change in cabin pressure
The trip from my home in Gush Etzion to El Rom in Ramat HaGolan took me from 900 meters above sea level to 300 meters below sea level and then back up to 1050 meters above sea level. There’s a reason school children bring gum on tiyulim in Israel.

The perfect ending
As we were paying our lodging fee and getting ready to set out on our ear-popping return home, the campground supervisor from El Rom presented each family with a gift. A beautiful book on tiyulim in the Golan. Complete with maps, pictures, descriptions and symbols indicating the terrain and time required. Off the beaten path tiyulim. In Hebrew. For real Israelis!

1 comment:

  1. Smoked tuna rocks! We went camping last week and my stepson introduced this delicacy to me for the first time. I spent untold weeks and months camping back in the day, and all we had was mud-encrusted flame-baked chicken. Would that we had known about smoked tuna! I got the best pictures for my blog!