Good afternoon all, Jerod here--my first actual internet blog, on Tony's site or otherwise. Yes, I am somewhat of technological caveman, so bear with me. I just wanted to add a few additional notes on Tony's otherwise stellar documentation of the last day or two...
Last night we camped out at Zelon beach on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee--where it's believed that Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fish, among several lesser known feats. We were pretty worn out from a long day of public transport and the notoriously stringent Israeli border crossing, but were treated to something of a miracle in itself--as we walked onto the clearly deserted beach, a couple of staff for the campground took us in, gave us tea and some food, and after getting the tent set up, we also shared a sip or two of Arak, a very popular middle east liquor similar to Sambuca back in the States. Despite the language barrier we managed to share a few laughs.
Our first hitchhiking experiences of the trip were rather positive--it's a way of life in Israel, especially these nothern sections that aren't particularly well served by public transport. Despite our large backpacks and rather shaggy looks we managed to get rides relatively easily. It's also helpful if you can make friends with an Israeli who can assist with the language barrier, and today Tony and I were lucky enough to do just that. We hitched somewhere around 60 km or so today to the town of Tsfat, where we plan to spend Passover and use as our general outpost for the next several days.
One last note, just to demonstrate the issues of transliterations between Hebrew and English, take the town we're currently in for example--we've seen at least this many derivations of it during our travels--Zefat, Tzfat, Safed, Zefat, Tsfat, Zfat...I guess you can see why it was pretty helpful to make friends who can help you out.