Well now, camping was an experience that I'll not likely have in the too near future. I never was a camper, in fact, I've only been camping once before. But, hey, this year is about discovery...yes? So Yael and I packed up the kids and the car and set out for a campground called Amnun. We drove out of the moshav around Jerusalem, out into the desert waving to the camels and Bedouins as we passed by. We drove through a check point and through the West Bank, out of another checkpoint, uneventfully. We were headed north to the Kinneret. The Kinneret Lake is the Sea of Galilee (yup, that very same one). Two hours later, we arrived.
Amnum is above Tiberias, above Capurnaum, and above Tabgha. It's at the northernmost part of the Lake. The weather was hot and humid and hazy. I almost thought I was back in St. Louis once again. But the scenery was quite different. The campgrounds were quiet because the Jewish holidays are over now and the children are back in school. The lake is lovely and the water was perfect. We were with three other mothers with small children (OY!!) I was exhausted watching them. It reminded me of how thankful I am that my kids are adults now and can pack their own damn backpacks and go to the bathroom on their own.
We really didn't do much of anything except swim and eat. The kids were to small to hike or go on any special tours of the area. Across the lake you could see the Golan Heights. Of course because it was so hazy it was hard to see much during the day, but in the evening the lights on the heights appeared. That was fun to watch them pop out as the sun set in the other direction. The stars popped out too and it was quite a show. I saw a shooting star, Yael saw one too. Each morning sun rose over the Golan Heights and that too was really spectacular....the first morning. After that, it really was "old news".
There was a goose on the campgrounds. We noticed that he was milling around as we were unpacking and he visited all of the tents. He even followed us down to the water and watched as we waded in. After dinner, and after the little ones were finally sleeping the adults sat around to talk. The goose, who obviously is more used to people than his own species, sat down right in the middle of us and fell asleep. The next morning he was down at the water's edge make goose sounds as the sun rose over the Golan. His tai chi was not humorous.
OK, so that's ok. But then he wasn't funny anymore. He was constantly at our sides and stood eye to eye with the toddlers. He liked to scare the daylights out of them. He'd look at them and he would then begin to make a move toward them and the babies would start screaming at the top of their lungs.
We brought plastic chairs into the water a couple of times a day to sit and watch the kids play. The goose had the goose balls to swim right up to us and dip and nip at the chairs. At one point he climbed on my lap. I KID YOU NOT!!! When I tried to get him off he opened his beak and clamped down on my wrist. I was able to release him from that grip only to grab hold further up my arm even tighter. The kids and mothers thought this was hilarious. I suppose it was if you're not the one getting goosed. He didn't break the skin but I've got a pretty black and blue mark about two inches long. Now I know why Jesus walked on the water. A moving target is always more difficult to catch.
All in all it was a good time, but Toto, there's no place like home.