There were bright green birds, black birds with orange bellies, and little fat gray birds. They flitted between the low bushes on the sides of the path, welcoming us to Nahal Mishmar.
We collapsed into our seats, every muscle feeling it. It had been an incredible, an almost impossible, a totally uniquely beautiful day.
The sky was the crispest shade of cerulean, with cirrus clouds spattered around like white paint on a blue canvas. The mountain rock was stark and chalky in some places, like cut clay. In others, piles of sandy stones gathered to form sharp peaks.
Down below, we could see alabaster walls of smooth stone in all kinds of beautiful formations.
Only in Israel can I drive about an hour from my home on a forested mountain and stumble upon a landscape like this. This hike around Mount Yishai was an incredible journey through quintessentially exotic Israeli scenery.