It’s the end of Day 3, and as Shabbat approaches, our riders and hikers have all checked in safely from today’s variety of routes and challenges. (Click here to read about today’s hike.)
Riders chose among various options. Some chose to leave our hotel at 5:30 a.m. to bike in the cool morning desert air. They took an amazingly challenging route, with long and steep climbs, including the world-class Scorpion’s Ascent overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The rest of the group cycled to Sde Boker, the home of Israel’s founding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. Sde Boker is a beautiful Negev center, overlooking the magnificent Zin Valley.
After Sde Boker, some riders switched to mountain bikes and did an off-road ride in the intense heat, happy to arrive at a desert oasis and jump into a cold natural pool. The rest rode another 40 km to Mitzpe Ramon, our home for Shabbat. (Click here to see today’s route.)
Many of our bikers and hikers visited a winery in this desert town, sampling some wonderful wine from the only Israeli winery with kashrut certification from the Masorti Movement and Israeli Conservative Rabbinical Assembly.
The scene here at the hotel is fantastic. Exhausted hikers and riders, and many guests, family, and friends, are uniting after today’s adventures, eager to share stories and a very restful Shabbat.
What a wonderful group of people have gathered for this year’s Ramah Israel Challenge–so many new friendships, and re-kindling of old Ramah relationships.
Shabbat will give us all an opportunity to restore our bodies and nurture our souls, ready to continue the adventure as we travel southward to Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat, on Sunday and Monday.
Shabbat Shalom from the Negev desert,
Rabbi Mitch Cohen, National Ramah Director