There's Still Beautiful Hills Around Beit Shemesh!
"My" fields across from Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, are being transformed into new neighborhoods.
Whereas this entails the wholesale destruction of the natural and historical wonders there, all is not lost for nature-loving residents.
Yesterday afternoon, me, my three (single) kids and our dog Messy, headed out into the hills in the Ella Valley.
Starting at the track which is popular with thousands of visitors who visit the rare "termosim" flowers there in the spring, now deserted, we headed up into the steep track to the hills towards the south.
In our three hour hike, during the 'crowded' Chol Hamoed Sukkot holiday, we passed just a father and his son on their mountain bikes. Aside from that, we had the hills to ourselves.
I used a recently downloaded Ap, called Amud Anan, which is an excellent map application, showing one's location, walking trails and terrain map. One of the features is highlighting points of interest, with descriptions and photos provided by fellow hikers.
As an illustration of the utility, I pressed on a site-of-interest symbol, and we explored a dramatic bell-cave - similar to those at Beit Guvrin. This cave was off the signed path, and we would not have stumbled upon it by chance.
In time, this application should become packed with much more helpful information for hikers - the capacity and potential is tremendous. No need for paper maps!
I highly recommend Amud Anan (for Hebrew readers - no English).
We finished up at Aderet, a moshav in the hills.
Beit Shemesh hikers - head to the hills!