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Israel: The Negev To The Western Wall

10 – 17 October 2021

This Challenge event is now full, please contact Julie Braithwaite for further information

Challenge Details

  • 5 days of cycling
  • 407km
  • Flights NOT included
  • £295 registration fee

Following a tough year, we return to an emerging Israel and to one of our more popular cycling routes that fully encapsulates the country’s huge geo-diversity, as we travel from the barren landscape of the Negev desert to the emerald Mediterranean forests of the Jerusalem Hills.

Starting from Mitzpe Ramon, this desert route takes us through some of the most breath-taking scenery in all of Israel, including two of Israel’s famous makhtesh (erosion craters) – a geographical phenomenon unique to the Negev. While days will be tough in either distance or metres climbed, we will by buoyed by all that surrounds us and inspired by the communities we visit – with a final and dramatic ascent into the holy city itself.

Itinerary

Sunday 10 October
Arrive into Ben Gurion. Transfer to Mitzpe Ramon Youth Hostel for bike fitting, introductions to the crew and full briefing on the week ahead.

Monday 11 October – Mitzpe Ramon to Yerucham – Cycle 107km
We start the day heading west towards the Astronomy Centre, turning on to a good dirt track and then south west up into the desert steppe of Mt Negev and its spectacular views of the Ramon Crater. With a visit to Beit Shanti and Ben Gurion’s tomb, it’s a day of many emotions before we finish at Yerucham.

Tuesday 12 October – Yerucham to Arad – Cycle 85km
Today begins with a gentle ascent to Mt Avnun and its breath-taking view of the Big Makhtesh but finishes on the paved road of route 31 – just 100m above sea level – and a cruel 550m, 18km climb up to Arad.

Wednesday 13 October – Arad to Sde Yoav – Cycle 90km
After the heat of the Judean desert, we at last head up into the cooler and milder climate of the hills south of Hebron, and then on to the Yehuda Plains west of Jerusalem. Skirting the edge of the West Bank and its lowlands views, today we truly experience the dramatically changing landscape from desert to fertile plains, with a ride that may be long but will be well remembered.

Thursday 14 October – Sde Yoav to Nes Harim – Cycle 70km
A short bus transfer out of Sde Yoav and we are soon back on route following a quiet country lane towards Khirbet Burgin. We then head out to the uncovered 2000 year old Roman burial caves where Jews hid during the rebellion against the Romans and hear the dramatic story of the Bar Kochba revolt, finally resting at the JNF Field School after a challenging day.

Friday 15 October – Nes Harim to Jerusalem – Cycle 55km
A day of ascents and descents, we set out from Nes Harim back into the Nahal Dolev forest, up through Ksalon and a challenging climb to the Air Force lookout point and Sataf Springs. Our final stretch is to Mount Herzl Military Cemetery and then it’s the last push into the beautiful City itself, at rest for Sabbath and a celebratory dinner.

Saturday 16 October
Free day in Jerusalem.

Sunday 17 October
Transfer to Ben Gurion airport for return flight.

This itinerary is subject to change and to UK Govt, FCO and WHO guidelines.

What’s included:

  • Transfers to and from Ben Gurion airport if taking the recommended flights
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in a mix of good quality kibbutzim (one basic) and youth hostels with upgraded hotel at end of challenge
  • All meals (with the exception of lunches on non-cycling days)
  • Water and snacks on the support vehicle(s)
  • Fully supported ride with organised refreshment stops, ride leaders, support vehicle, mechanic and first aid qualified staff
  • Aluminium mountain bike
  • Complimentary Norwood Cycle Jersey

What’s not included:

  • International return flights to Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Lunch on non-cycling days
  • Any personal cycling equipment (helmets are compulsory)
  • Travel insurance, tips, trips, gratuities or personal expenses

How challenging is it?

This is a moderate physical challenge requiring stamina, good health and a good level of general fitness. You should be used to regular cycles of up to 6+ hours in the saddle and should factor in plenty of endurance training to maintain the distances required over consecutive days. While not technically difficult, the route has been designed to be challenging – but achievable – with some regular training.

You will be required to complete a medical form and sign a disclaimer.

What are the costs and minimum fundraising requirement?
Registration is £295 to secure your place on this ride. Full costs/fundraising requirement is to be confirmed, but likely to be in the region of £3300 in total. Contact julie.braithwaite@norwood.org.uk to find out more. Places are limited and likely to go quickly.