Adventure | Riding Israel: Lost in the Holy Land – Part 2
Trials star David Cachon goes on an adventure through one of the world’s most incredible places. Israel offer unparalleled history culture and a surprising amount of unique biking terrain. Enjoy this second part of his travel diary!
This is part 2 of 3. Part 1
Today has been one of the most amazing days I have ever spent on a bike. I was able to ride in places that are part of History of humanity. To touch and feel these spaces, the smells and such deep and authentic feelings have raise me up to a new level of riding. After last night’s adventure, we decided that we should spend more time getting lost in the depths of Jerusalem. Today we spent the whole day in the city. I mounted on the roofs of the city, I visited their markets and, when the rain was too strong, we decided to taste the local food: Kebab accompanied by onion and tomato (warning: these mutton meat balls were incredibly delicious, and had nothing to do with the Kebab I have had before). Keep in mind that this is no ordinary place.
Jerusalem is a city built thousands of years ago. Its History resonates in the whisper of the wind through the walls, where every stone tells a prodigious fact of a place that has attracted millions of pilgrims for thousands of years. This is Jerusalem the capital of Israel, the only city in the world that has 70 names of love and longing, which in old maps appears at the center of the world and still produces as much admiration as a young bride. Jerusalem is a city that arouses overwhelming emotions that promises spiritual and religious experiences, intensity and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures.
The heart of Jerusalem’s Old City is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters: Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim. These walls surround the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall (revered by Jews), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. Millions of believers visit every year the square where the Western Wall is located. Here, in the cracks of the foundation of this great wall, the last remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers and notes with prayers of the faithful are left by the Jews.
Surrounding the Western Wall are other places of importance also for the Jews: the Western Wall tunnels, the unique Davidson Center, the Jewish Quarter, with its magnificent Cardo and David’s Citadel, which stands proud of her beauty. South of the Old City we find the City of David, where the ancient Canaanite and Israelite Jerusalem grew.
Today it is time to leave behind our home for the last two days, the Mount Zion Hotel, a luxurious villa that it had everything a biker might need: spa, gym, pool, bar … And don’t forget the incredible city views of Jerusalem and the location, just 5 minutes from downtown. But it’s time to stop talking about the past and focus on what we will face today. A couple of hours of travel have taken us to the Negev region. Different landscape and a little heat have been the first thing we have noticed when we stepped down on the field. This time we are near the city of Kibbutz and therefore of the Gaza Strip, internationally known, unfortunately, due to the armed conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
The adventure begins in the bike shop “The mdavesh”, a warehouse that hides inside hundreds of bikes to be rented, a complete repair shop and an extensive exhibition of bikes on sale. Besides all that has a pumptrack circuit and from its your doorsteps begin all the trails in the area, which are known as Beeri Singletrails. We decide to ride for a while on circuits marked, very smooth trails and firm where you can reach high speeds, many curves and cubbies areas. After a while riding we decide to venture and take an alternative path that takes us to the border of Gaza. Our compass is a cement track, used by the British in the Second World War to transport weapons.
Bunkers, water tanks, army tanks and cars are our companions in this adventure we are not convinced at first, but gradually we realize it is a pretty controlled and safe area. I am able to explore a fun dune area of land with tanks. After this personal adventure we decide to return to the starting point, regain strength with some ice cream at “The mdavesh Bikeshop” and head to the desert. About three-hour drive take us to our new location, the Ramon Inn Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon. It is time for some dinner and rest, we need to recharge to be ready for what is coming.
Text & riding: David Cachon Photos: Ismael Ibánez