I woke up in the middle of the night really needing a wee. When camping I just go next to the tent but I just couldn’t work out where I was. It was so dark. I put my hand back and could feel a wall. I felt for my roll mat but realised I was on a mattress. Still with no idea about where I might be, I shook Gil awake and asked him where I should go for a wee. He sounded even more confused than me. Then I suddenly remembered! We were at his parents house. The toilet…that’s where I go for a wee! Don’t worry, I said to Gil, just go back to sleep.
Apart from the bizarre and confusing incident in the middle of the night, I slept great. After a shower I headed downstairs with my laptop. Gil’s dad made me 3 glasses of fresh orange juice made from the orange tree in their front garden and we all had breakfast together.
I had a ton of emails to catch up on and some writing to do so most of the day was spent in the hammock sorting it out. The day always disappears so fast when you are looking at a screen.
I did stray out of the house early afternoon to head to Aldo who do the most amazing frozen yogurt in the world….with unlimited toppings. There are 62 toppings to choose from (I’ve counted them more than once) although because it was the holidays they added an additional 7. I was craving chocolate so I kept mine simple – every chocolate variation with chocolate sauce on the top. SO. GOOD.
We caught up with a couple of friends in the evening and went to a burger joint. I was still feeling full from my massive frozen yogurt so just had some fries.
Although I was tired, I enjoyed the feeling of knowing that tomorrow I didn’t have to wake up and walk. I made the most of it and read my book for a bit which resulted in a very late night – 9.15pm.
I finished getting the laundry sorted and packed the bag ready for tomorrow, including topping up the food supplies and filling up the water hydration pouches. For lunch we went to American Pizza and ordered our usual, Bulgarian cheese with olives. We got 2 and saved some slices to take on our hike.
We had a special invite to visit SOURCE, who have kindly been sponsoring our charity hike by providing us with some essential outdoor items.
I’ve never been to a factory before and we saw the place where both the hydration packs and sandals are made. I was expecting huge machines and a noisy production line but I was blown away to find out that almost every aspect of making the items is done by hand. We chatted to lots of people, finding out what their role is. There were so many different aspects and everything fitted together so neatly.
I was most impressed with the workers on the sewing machines, moving so fast but with such care. SOURCE sandals come in a fabric bag that you can reuse, as part of their sustainability ethos, and I watched a woman sewing one of these together. Like many others, I’ve used mine to store and organise my camping accessories in my bag. Gil uses his to store a hiking coffee set – typical Israeli!
After the factory we went to the office where we met the team of developers and designers and the founder, Yoki.
He told me SOURCE started 25 years ago in a 1 bedroom flat in Tel Aviv with a sewing machine making money belts. I could see he is proud of the organisation and he should be. Noticeably diverse with all cultures and religions welcome, there is a real friendly and happy atmosphere.
We had such a great time and on the ride back home I spent the entire time examining my SOURCE sandals. I love my sandals on a whole different level now!
Back at home there was just enough time to fit in a film (Me Before You – very soppy) and a slice of Gils grandmas Creme Shnit (cream cake) and Gils mum’s orange cake, before bed. It felt like I had been away from hiking for a lot longer than 2 days but, unlike my last rest day I don’t feel like I have done much relaxing. Computers are nothing but stress machines.
I’m ready to get back on the trail though. I’ve got coastlines, homestays (with showers!) and, the best bit, flat terrain to look forward. I have a good feeling about the week ahead.
I am walking 1000km the full length of Israel. Part of the reason I have taken on this challenge is to raise money for Africa’s Children in Education. Each time I receive a donation it is a HUGE morale boost…please donate!