Well, at least for the “On-Road” group of riders, one message that became abundantly clear to all of us was that Israeli bicyclists, when talking about elevations and the number of hills to climb, invariably LIE!! (i hope no one is offended by that, but it’s the truth).
True – our third day of riding was definitely less strenous than Day #2, or Days #4 or #5. In fact, each day we got a briefing in the evening on the next day’s ride, and each day, we became more skeptical of the veracity of the Israeli estimate of the contours of the ride. Our briefing on the first night, of the difficulty of the following Day#2 climb scared the pants off many of us, and at breakfast, as I compared notes with other riders, many shared my experience of having dreamt the arduous climb over and over and over in our dreams, and we just wanted to get it over with ALREADY!!.
Day #3 started with us passing a family of grazing camels, one of whom is shown above – a fairly obviously pregnant female! there were varying ages in the group, and we saw no human associated with the “harem”, but they well could have been domesticated, and let out to graze on their own. They certainly had no fear of the odd humans passing by on our 2-wheeled contraptions, stopping to take photos of them.
Our group decided to make an extra stop at Ben Gurion’s grave site, and here I am, at an overlook in the entrance to the site where he is buried with his wife. The photo doesn’t do justice to the incredible view that we had of the canyon that surrounds the park that is truly lovely as a resting place. I do have more photos, and soon, I hope to have linked ALL our photos in a gallery so that you can get a better appreciation of the trip.
Here is our group of bicyclists clustered around the site – I have no idea what the other visitors thought of us, and it felt just a little bit disrespectful to be “clip-clopping” through on our biking shoes. But it is a beautiful spot, and the view from the area of the graves is quite spectacular!
The next photo shows the marker of the grave, and I would have taken a closer view of his wife’s headstone, but our Israeli coordinators started yelling (as they did every morning, and throughout the day) “Riders, you must get back on your bikes or you will be put on the bus!!”, so we had to leave….I caught a few photos of a family of Ibexes on our way out – here is the Grand-Daddy of the little herd, who had a spectacular pair of horns!