We began with a two-hour ride, almost all uphill, right along the Lebanese border. The views into northern Israel were spectacular. Once again riders cheered as each participant rode into the first rest stop, having climbed approximately 1,400 feet.
Riders were then treated to a lovely tour and tasting at the Galil Mountain Winery at Yiron.
The route to our lunch break was altered significantly by the Israeli Army due to “possible disturbances” in the bordering areas of Lebanon. Apparently, some of the mosques in southern Lebanon were broadcasting messages encouraging violence toward Israel. While no actual disturbances were reported, caution required that we avoid the border road and add approximately 4 km to the route, often steep ascents.
We all had lunch in a shady park and many riders were thrilled to end their cycling for the day and head to our hotel in Ma’alot to relax prior to Shabbat. Others wanted to press on, and ride the last 22 hilly kilometers.
After 3 very full days of physical challenge, everyone is ready for the beauty and the restfulness of Shabbat. We are staying at the C Hacienda Resort in Ma’alot, and will be joined by many guests, family and friends, including Barbara and Herb Greenberg, the founders of the Ramah Tikvah Program, which began in New England in 1970.
More than just a strenuous bike trip, this has so far been a truly unique Ramah experience, as new friendships have been made, children and their parents have spent time together, people have learned so much more about Israel’s history and geography, and the overall feeling of connectedness has been sensational.
After Shabbat we will celebrate Lag B’Omer with great joy, and then return to our bikes Sunday and Monday, the final days.
We are all now looking forward to a hot shower and the beauty of Shabbat in Israel. From Ma’alot, high in the Galil, we wish all our friends, family and supporters a Shabbat Shalom.