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Vespa Adventures: Driving Around The Kibbutz to Nataf Valley

Around Ma’ale HaHamisha Kibbutz and Mount Haruach 

Driving from the kibbutz to Nataf is easily one of my favorite drives in all of Israel. The road leading to Nataf is pretty narrow, but the views throughout the ride don’t disappoint. Before you reach the village, you come upon at least three areas that are various parts of a national park where many Israelis come to hike and eat goat cheese during their days off. There is even a fresh water pond located on one of the hikes. I’ve done a few of these hikes and recommend them as well, but since I found a new place (that nobody else has seemed to yet discover), I decided to showcase that location. 

It is further into Nataf than most people think to go and from the road only looks like an abandon house . I decided to see if there was a way to get on the roof, since it looked possible, and soon found out how easy it was accomplished. But first a bit more about Nataf itself, with help from Wikipedia and google maps:

You can easily see in the map above, the yellow road that is taken from the kibbutz to Nataf is surrounded by green mountains. It is a good picture to give an idea about the local geography of the place too:  while driving along this road, you will be supplied with good views of the Judean Mountains all around you. The total drive time is around 10 to 15 minutes, more or less depending upon vehicle used and speed. 

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nataf,

“Nataf (Hebrew: נָטָף‎‎) is a communal settlement in the Judean Mountains, 12 miles west of JerusalemIsrael. It is under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2006, Nataf had a population of 387. Nataf is situated on a ridge bounded by Kefira Valley to the north and Hamisha Valley to the south; the elevation is around 500m above MSL. It lies at the end of a 3-mile road that passes through Abu Ghosh. The village was founded in 1982 on private land purchased from residents of Abu Ghosh. [2]It overlooks Nataf Valley, a popular hiking destination. Nataf spring is watered all year round and has a number of small freshwater pools. The name Nataf is of biblical origins and referred to the incense Stacte. Only 20% of the residents are Modern Orthodox80% of the residents are secular. The village has a unique unaffiliated synagogue with three sections for prayer: a men’s section, a women’s section and a mixed section.”

But now back to the abandon house and finding a way on to the roof:

I didn’t expect the view that was in front of me once I climbed on top of the roof and stood up. Before me was an entire valley of lush green and rocky views. There was hardly any other noises besides the birds chirping and the wind. The absolute stillness about me and grandiose of the view amazed me as I just stood there and took it all in. There were little yellow wild flowers growing on top of the roof, which made the view all the more charming. At one side of the building there was also a hole to look in, that gave an idea as to what was inside the building. I simply couldn’t believe what I had found, and I am excited to share it here with you:

A little slide show of a few of the photos I took around the building of the views,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last, but not least, a little (and rather) simple video of the views I recorded that day. Hope you enjoy,

Music in video from Regina Spektor. (Bird chirping from location.)

To note: There is a goat cheese farm, but it really is marketed towards foodie-types who don’t really care about the prices per gram. If you insist: Harharuach.com (good but $$$). Tourist trap, just enjoy the views for free.

P.S. Sorry you had to see me in my “Hammer” pants. Ha.

P.P.S. Check out the Google homepage today. Nice.

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About kaie w. bird

A freelance photographer in Israel that likes to scoot about while documenting just about everything. P.S. I am a horrible editor. Forgive me.

2 responses to “Vespa Adventures: Driving Around The Kibbutz to Nataf Valley

  1. Excellent post. You’re helping me disco we new places to visit the next time i’m in Israel which will hopefully be in a couple of years.

    • Oh, yay!! You were one of my first people to “know” on here and all of your comments mean a lot to me. I really, really plan on going over to that beach you suggested, but every time I am on the road where you have to choose between “city driving” and “country driving”, I always go for those open roads and flower fields. I think after that one Tel Aviv jaunt, I have been a bit nervous about getting on those bustling highways again. But… I will. Promise. Soon. Before May is up. Anyway, I really like discovering these places that not even my partner knows about and that are really quite remarkable. It is a pleasure to pass them on to you and others who read this. = ) I hope you have a lovely weekend indeed and thank you for your support and kind words. Cheers!

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