Trekking in upper Wadi Quelt: from monasteries to waterfalls
Summer in the desert, full of water
The fact that the summer has come to Israel is not a reason not to go hiking in the desert. On the contrary, some places in the desert should be visited only in the summer!
On Saturday I invite you to the hike with a high historical value – in the upper Wadi quelt. Wadi Quelt (also known as Nahal Prat) is one of the most interesting gorges of Israel; it houses some of the oldest and most interesting monasteries of the Holy Land – Lavras of Farran and Saint George.
Prat gorge stretches from Jerusalem to Jericho itself, and has been known since Biblical times. One of its main attractions is Lavra of Chariton, founded by the first hermits of the Judean desert in the heyday of the Byzantine Empire, and which currently inhabits … the only one monk Chariton. Chariton is an ambiguous and extravagant character, one of the most interesting hermits in the Judean desert nowadays. Having visited him, we will literally find ourselves in another reality – the triumph of faith over modern logic and desert scenery over urban landscapes.
After visiting the monastery and discovering the history of asceticism of the Judean Desert and the details of everyday life of the monks, we will continue our path along the sources of the gorge – Ein Farrah and Ein Mabuah (some of the most beautiful in the Judean desert), and go down to the monastery of St. George Hozevit – a calling card of Wadi Quelt.
Sources of Ein Farrah and Ein Mabuah are ideal for swimming, and the water flowing out of them down the Wadi Quelt is very refreshing in the heat.
Towards the end of our hike, we come to the monastery of St. George Hozevit. About this place you can talk endlessly, and look at it even longer. Here we will learn the history of the founding of the monastery, what was happening in the valley fifteen hundred years ago, and who cooks diet soup for the monks today.
- Arriving in your own cars (will will drive them to the start and the finish of the route)
- Meeting point: parking lot of Ein Farrah National Park (next to hwy 437 that branches out of hwy 1 behind Jerusalem). Total time: from 08:00 till 18:00.
- Walking distance: around 15 km
- Rides: I will try to find you a ride to get there
- water (4 liters per person minimum!)
- snacks for the day
- modest clothing for visiting the monastery, necessarily (long pants, covered elbows and collarbones, you can bring a change of clothes if you’d like)
- Spare dry shoes, there is water in the gorge
- Swimming suits, if you’d like