14 - 15 November 2017 Sea Level Community to Tel Al-Qamar, Thru Hike 2017

Day one: Sea Level to Kherbet Al-Merd This section of the trail begins at the desert sanctuary of Nabi Musa, dating to the 13th century. According to Islamic tradition the site is the final resting place of the prophet Moses; the site consists of the tomb and a mosque and a spacious compound built around them. After that the journey follows through large uninhabited areas, filled with beautiful panoramic vistas. The trail starts in a deep valley along old pilgrim routes. Then from the mountain which overlooks Jericho and the Dead Sea hikers can view beautiful landscapes below. Along the route hikers will meet Bedouins with their camels and sheep. At the end of this section of the trail awaits Khirbet al-Mird (Hyrcania in Greek), the mysterious fortress commonly attributed to the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus, who is said to have built it toward the end of the second century BC. Walking distance: 15.10 KM Walking time: 5-6 hours Difficulty: Difficult Day 2: Kherbet Al-Merd to Tel al-Qamar The winding trail takes hikers down into the Kidron Valley full of various in size caves that in the Byzantine times were inhabited by monks. The spectacular Mar Saba Monastery and a few Byzantine wilderness monasteries are found here; the cluster was named after Saint Saba (439-532 CE), who settled in a cave opposite the site to live in complete seclusion. The area is a perfect spot to take a break and enjoy the view and the atmosphere. The trail then takes walkers through hills and valleys leading to the Tal al-Qamar area. Walking distance: 11.20 KM Walking time: 4-5 hours Difficulty: Difficult The price included: Two Lunches One-Overnight at Kherbet al-Merd Grotto One Dinner and one breakfast Not Included: Transportations from/to the starting and ending point Optional star-gazing activity at Tel Al-Qamar