1. Beginnings

In 2009 I spent my birthday in Bethlehem

Dinner with Sharon and fellow 'Birmingham pilgrims' at the 'Tent' in Beit Sahour* soon turned into a party I shall never forget.  (Mysteriously, all photographs of me dressed as a 1st century Judaean shepherd have been lost.)

The Tent Restaurant

The next day we boarded our luxury, air-conditioned coach and headed north, 100 miles along Road 60, following the Jordan valley to the Galilee and ultimately to Nazareth.

This year I would spend my birthday in Nazareth and the next day head south, for 100 miles towards the Jezreel valley, along the Jordon Valley and through the arid Judean hills to Bethlehem – (mostly) on foot!

*I would return to live in the beautiful town of Beit Sahour as a volunteer with 'Palestine Medical Relief' in 2011 and Sharon and I spent two nights there with a wonderful family in February 2012. It would once again be my home for a night at journey's end.