Lester Christie helps collect trash from the beach at Almog. Photo: Glenis Bertfield
ESRA’s last hike of the season is always an easy beach hike; it was held on June 14 and enjoyed by a group of 20 hearty participants. We began our hike at Kibbutz Nahsholim and walking the 7-1/2 km to Maagan Michael along the shores of the sea was indeed easy.
As Reuven, our regular guide, was leading a hike in the Golan that same day, his very personable son, Almog, was our excellent guide. He told us that Baron Edmund de Rothschild wanted to establish a glass bottle factory at Nahsholim for the wine that was being produced in both Rishon le Zion and Zichron Yaakov. Unfortunately, the sand was found to be unsuitable for this purpose and the bottles had to be made elsewhere.
Along the way many of us removed our shoes and enjoyed walking barefoot on the soft sand or even in the water along the shore. That felt good! The weather was perfect; there was a steady breeze and we did not feel the heat at all.
We headed south from Nahsholim. When we reached Dor, Almog explained that this was an important area as it was an excellent natural harbor much used in ancient Israel. Today Dor is a beautiful and well-known holiday village featuring accommodations - a hotel, bungalows and igloos. A short while ago a whale had been sighted there not too far from the shore.
As we stood listening to Almog, a young man approached us. He told us that he had made it his mission to spend the summer in that area with the aim of cleaning up as much of the beach as he could manage. He held a large roll of plastic bags in his hand which he was busily filling with the ever-present trash which is found all over the beach. He handed a plastic bag to each one of us who would be willing to help him in his mission. Most of us were MORE than willing and we filled our bags with cups and bottles and glass shards and pieces of wood with sharp nails left over from campfires, as well as watermelon rinds and other items of discarded food. By the time we reached a drop-off station, our bags were full of debris and quite heavy, but we had a good feeling having done our bit to help clean up the beach and making it more attractive and safer for bathers and joggers, especially those who run barefoot.
Our hike ended at Kibbutz Maagan Michael where we were welcomed by Reuven who had returned from his hike to the Golan. It was time to eat, and Lawrence started a fire for a delicious barbecue. Even those who had brought tour own salads and sandwiches were tempted to join the others and partake of the hamburgers, chicken and potatoes sizzling on the fire. We sat on a deck overlooking the water, and while we ate we watched the sun go down into the sea.
A perfect ending to a beautiful day and to another successful season for the ESRA hiking club. Our sincerest thanks to Reuven, Almog, Lawrence and Glenis Bertfield and we already look forward to the start of the next exciting season