Apr 7, 2015

So near, yet so far!

I'm under 50 kms from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now, but following the road and avoiding the West Bank means I've still got 70 kms to walk. The forecast high for today is 27, and for tomorrow it's 30. There aren't many petrol stations along the way and the highway avoids villages, so there won't be many places I can get water. Water is heavy, which means the more I carry with me, the heavier my load is. (It gets lighter, of course.) Yesterday I ran out of water by early afternoon, so when I refilled, it was with three litres, which was too much for that stage of the day.

My plan for the remainder of the walk is to find a place to sleep during the hottest part of the day, and walk late into the night and during the early morning hours. With my poncho tarp, I can make shade if there's none to be found, but it's much nicer to stretch out under a tree. I probably won't arrive in Jerusalem before Thursday morning, but that will depend on how much ground I can cover after dark.

From here on in, I'll be following the main roads exclusively. Yesterday I encountered two fences that blocked the ‎secondary roads I was trying to follow. In the first case, I got around it by walking part way up the ramp for a parking garage and then hopping over to the roof of an abandoned single storey building. I lowered my pack to the ground using my walking stick and then climbed down the face of the building. (Shoulda taken photos, but I was too distracted at the time.) The second fence actually had a small gap where the gate across the road was chained shut, but I'm still too fat to fit through and I'd have had to unload my pack to pass it through. After taking a break in the shade, I noticed a smaller gate 50 m along the fenceline. Before backtracking two kilometres, I decided to investigate. As I approached I could see the chain and padlock, but the lock was only there to keep the chain around the post so the gate remained shut. This morning I wasn't as lucky. I began with a one hour detour just to get me to the other side of the fence from where I'd begun walking. Frustrating, but c'est la vie.

It's just past noon now, so once I finish this update I'll log out of the café's WiFi and start looking for a good place for my siesta. I am neither a mad dog nor an Englishman.

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