Three days biking on trails in the Negev desert in Israel, an experience to be missed
Ride in the desert is one of the strongest feelings that you can try if you love cycling and try an absolute size. For those who have never had the chance the desert is all considered equal and monotonous. It is exactly the opposite. The views are rugged, made of reddish mountains that change shape and color as it moves forward, alternating rocky wadi, the ancient river beds dried up, and trails that spread in flat trails with compact sand until you find the dunes fine sand ranging circumvented because no wheel, including 4X4 car, unable to climb them.
In Israel, down south, forests and green areas end and start the great Negev desert which leads to Eilat, the southernmost point overlooking the Red Sea.
The project to create a track signaled in the desert (Israel National Trail), with different traits made ridable even in areas otherwise inaccessible, it is a good point: there are only a few strokes to make complete the way from Galilee, the northernmost region that borders with Lebanon, will lead to Eilat across the whole country to the desert, linking many tracks already starting from aerial inhabited. Thanks to the network of hiking trails and you have the ability to cross the entire country in the longitudinal direction.
At the beginning of the Negev, Mitzpe Ramon is a charming town built on the edge of a crater that despite the appearance of the volcano, it is created in a natural way. The view it offers is very strong: the cliff is 450 m and the diameter of up to 35 km. With bikes you can ride even on the edge, on scree slopes and at various levels, from the most challenging in the easiest and suitable for everyone, or you can take many paths leading down to the bottom to climb through rings that offer multiple possibilities . The Beresheet is a beautiful 5 star hotel, one of the most luxurious of Israel, almost camouflaged on board, offering a relaxing post extraordinary cycling with all the rooms, swimming pool, restaurant and bar overlooking the crater. A good park bicycles is available to those customers who are organized tours of each level or recommended on many routes that depart from the hotel. In the same area GeoFun work, good organization that is based in one of the kibbutz country’s most famous for being the home of Ben Gurion, the founder of the modern state of Israel. GeoFun offers guided hikes and the accompaniment on the slopes for different stages. In this area there are large herds of mountain goats, very similar to ibex, encountered quite frequently and that if disturbed they initiate fast climbing steep cliffs.
Penetrating even more in the Negev in southern direction, the grandeur of the desert takes over. The track goes up and down all the time, sometimes even on slopes rather steep, and never meet another that Balise of stone that are a great relief when you ride in the desert without ever meeting other cyclists. The slopes of the desert are many but the main one, that the project linking the north with the south, leading to small settlements where other kibbutzim have specialized in sevices for bikers.
The kibbutz is a microcosm entrepreneurial and unifying concept in that it is a clone of the Soviet collective farms or agricultural cooperatives. In the desert are real autonomous villages where every member works and the salary is distributed equally among all members with the result that private property is eliminated. As it is a voluntary form, those who adhere to a spirit of community has very strong and consequently when you are a guest you feel something very different. It is an experience that going to be done in Israel and the desert is the best opportunity and natural.
Kibbutz Samar is savored an ideal atmosphere that combines the love of biking guides for the activities on their territory with the unique hospitality that is appreciated in the desert in a total way. You can choose programs of several days to ride on various tracks around the kibbutz with essential local guides. You can ride for hours without ever meeting anyone, following the indications of many signs and Balise found with frequency. But do not forget that you are in the desert and the safety margin should be higher because the orientation is sometimes complicated if you want to make a route starting and finishing at the kibbutz. Different speech but if you follow the Israel National Trail: the signs clear and simple enough to follow the direction allows you to travel without a guide.
The experience of living in kibbutz should be a must for those who go to Israel because, in addition to experiencing a very unique appearance, you have the option of having a convivial otherwise impossible. Dinner is also a party, nearest d a “wedding breakfast” than a normal meal with great convivial table always outside (we are in the desert). The food is offered on large trays and like family we serve.
In these dinners the food is typical of the multi-ethnic cuisine with many traditional dishes Arab and Lebanese. The falafel, eaten as they use local, in warm pita and drowned nell’hummus or tahina, with or without salad or various vegetables, always abundant on the tables Israeli. or as the shakshuka, another typical dish from Israel. Permanent presence also for various types of olives, tasty, soft goat cheese or seasoned with plenty of olive oil. Foods are very tasty and fragrant, which are suitable to be combined with each other with ease, ideal for when you are hungry after a day of cycling. Even the coffee is an original experience: done squat, with the dust that settles on the bottom after boiling, but the mixture also includes a certain amount of cardamom that gives a perfume a little ‘sweeter but nice after unusual flavors.
The finish of the Israel National Trail leads to Eilat, the resort totally devoted to tourism thanks to the warm climate all year round and the Red Sea that offers swimming and diving. Here nightlife and beach offer the best end of the journey that every day showed completely different landscapes and terrains.
Reportage Sauro Scagliarini
the most experienced tour operator Israeli cycling – www.gordonactive.com
The official site in Italian – www.goisrael.it
Guides and services area Mitzpe Ramon – www.geofun.co.il –
HotelIl Beresheet luxury – www.isrotel.com/beresheet
Kibbutz with experienced guides and hospitality (Southern Arava) – www.samarbike.com