Warewolf in the Forest

Trip Start Nov 13, 2006
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Trip End Oct 21, 2008


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Flag of Israel  , Jerusalem,
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This really happened;

I set out on Tursday evening with Bradley and Yonotan for the second half of Bradley's gruelling 40 day hike across Israel to raise money for www.allforthekids.org . We were camping in the Jerusalem forest to get an early start the next day.  We arrived late so after a quick meal of nuts, seeds, and Dorritoes we all found places to sleep. Bradley set up his tent whilst Yonotan and I were sleeping under the stars. (the nights in Israel are warm and I was aiming to keep my load light by not bringing a tent.) The forest was deserted.

I drifted into a light sleep fairly quickly but woke a bit later feeling uncomfortable on the pine needles. I curled up on my side to get back to sleep. Suddenly I heard a distinctive sound in the distance behind me. It was a high pitched howl! First one and then an entire chorus of howls accompanied with the sound of breaking twigs . It sounded like a massive pack of wolves on the rampage. And with them every creature in the forest seemed to be kicking up a fuss. The breaking twigs were getting close.... very close, very quickly.

I knew that I needed to turn round to see what was going on but part of me was just too terrified to see. Then suddenly it was as if I had been injected with a sleeping drug! My consciousnes was being wrenched down into a sleeplike state. But the awareness of the immenent danger was still there. There was a bag of food less than a metre behind me that might attract a wolf ...and after that  appetiser who knows what would be next.

A fear... no a terror, was overcoming my entire body. It was like nothing I've ever experienced. It was saturating ever cell of every organ and muscle inside me. The depth of this fear was somehow animal like. Perhaps the kind of terror an animal exeriences as it is walked into an abbatoir. But mixed in with the fear was something else. Somthing I can only describe as rage.

In my semiconscious state my breathing shortened and became louder ....like a kind of snarl. My lips started involuntarily lifting to reveal my teeth, and my muscles were being pumped with adrenaline. My hands were clenching up like claws. Still semiconscious and barely able to see I started turning round to confront the enemy behind me. I was guarding my spot

Then as suddenly as it started it stopped. Without the howling and twig breaking I could once again hear the birds tweeting. As I began to regain normal consciousness I lay on my back to calm down. I looked up beyond the pine branches at the night sky. It was a full moon.

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The same howling happened several times later in the night when I was fully conscious. Apparently it was jackals raher than wolves.

The hike made Duke of Edinburgh look like a stroll in the park. 28k in the blistering heat and a pace faster than a wolf on speed. Bradley is a man on a mission and wont let anything get in his way. The only thing that got me past the pain of one blister was the next one to drown it out. By the end of the day it was just a general pain. This was hardcore and whats more Bradley is doing the same thing every day for 40 days and sleeping rough almost every night. My plan to hike for a few days metamorphisised into two days, and then one day.

To find out where he is up to and read the blogs go to www.allforthekids.org . They are raising money for children in Israel and Africa.

Brandon - a Canadian theater director - gave up and hitch-hiked. He met us at the campsite. Turns out the people gving him a ride were on the way to a Rainbow gathering. and it was in the valley just opposite our campsite.....
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