Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

A Day At the Med

Ashdod, Israel

Commencing part two of an Israeli trek, it is dark, 5 am, when the three of us left on foot for the Mediterranean Sea. Last year at this time of year I covered about 80km along the coastline, and so now I have the opportunity to do more distance.

Having spent the night at the home, a ten minute walk from the seaside, Jagannatha, Bala Krishna and I walked right out the door, equipped with our japa beads and not much more than a cell phone. Oh, and I should mention, there was a fourth companion - a cat that followed us for many blocks and beyond along the beach with us. At one point that terminated, and he was gone, vanished.

We came upon an ancient Arab ruin, it was an old fort, which once had an elaborate chamber system along with a moat. It was from the Byzantine period from about 600 - 1000 AD. Israel is a place of surprising discoveries.

Shalom, was our greeting to beach walkers, and sometimes it was Hare Krishna, or Haribol. Assuming they know such salutations. We, back down to three again, were most relaxed in this setting of clean water and the sun, air and space. It is indisputably one of the best trails I've ever been on. As always, there are reminders of life and death. A crab adrift to the shore moved slothfully, and a dead sea turtle left were his armour and skeleton - a soul that moved on to another form.

Our well built companion, Jagannatha, found each beach walking a trite strenuous, even at the midway stretch of 10 km. You have to break into this activity of walking, like breaking into a new pair of shoes. A swim gave relief before leaving the sea at Ashkelon. Just beyond this state you have a Palestinian district, and it was inadvisable to walk there. The place is famous, it's well known and goes by the name, Gaza.

The two men with me told me of their compulsory time spent in the Israeli army, 3 years for young men, and 2 for young women. The occasional security plane flies overhead on watch. As mentioned prior, we are living in a troubled word. Bala Krishna informed me of Kadafi's death, which involved a public execution. Bala Krishna is far from being a sadistic type, but he asked if I might want to view it on the internet when we got the chance. I thought in the beginning, okay, but I was in the midst of a meal, and so the conclusion was no.

Traffic to Ariel is the same as anywhere else in the developed world on a work day; pathetically slow. At the end our satsang was well worth the 2 1/2 hour drive. There, we talked about baby Krishna's pranks. Who ever thought that a car would be efficient?

20 Km

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