Monday, May 21, 2007


Hi Steph,

I’m sure there is risk in anything we might choose to do. I’m not planning to be reckless about it, but I don’t want to be ruled by fear either…especially other people’s fear… I’ve booked 14 nights in hostels so far and so will be filling in the blank spaces as time goes on. I hate to have everything sewed up with no flex for serendipitous opportunities, but on the other hand since I am a woman and going alone, and cycling, and really….can hardly imagine what it will be like, (think shepherds in bathrobes, biblical scenery…etc…everything in miniature…and on flannelgraph….haha)…I think I will try to have all my lodgings arranged prior to going…and I will let you all know what I’ve planned as I go so that you won’t be concerned.

My Dad has a friend…an old widower, who went solo to Israel recently, and he just bussed around, and saw the sights and really enjoyed himself. I am planning to cycle from place to place….but possibly stay 2 or three days here or there….So far here is what I have planned.

Arrival in Tel Aviv at Noon on the 13th of September…..and go directly to the HI hostel in Tel Aviv, where I can hole up for three nights, get my bike assembled, and get my legs under me from the long trip…..I can go to the beach and explore the area around Tel Aviv during that time. Hostels run around $20US per night and include hearty breakfasts….so not too expensive….

On the 16th I will begin to make my way up the Mediterranean coast….My next hostel stay will be in Haifa, but I don’t want to go the whole distance in one day….I could….as it is 95 K, but knowing my penchant for pushing things to the max…..I want to split it up…Also, I want to stop here and there…Natania looks nice, and I want to see Caesarea….There is a beach campsite just north of Caesarea where I might plan to camp if I decide to bring my tent…otherwise, I’ll book something else…that night is still open..

On the 17th….I’m booked in to the HI hostel in Haifa for two nights…I’ll spend time exploring that area….and Akko…a little to the north.

On the 19th…I plan to cycle across country through Nazareth and Tiberias to Karei Deshe HI hostel at the Sea of Galilee. I’m spending three nights here, as I’ve heard its lovely, and I want to spend at one day cycling around the Lake (sea) and another to poke around…..

On the 22nd, I will begin to follow the Jordan River down to Jerusalem…but again, I don’t want to do it in one day…its 150K….so I’m breaking it in two so I have yet to arrange accommodation for the night of the 22nd. I’m hoping I’m not leaving the Galilee too soon, and that two days will be enough…..I might wish I had broken it into three…to give me a little more time on this bit….in any case…I’ll stick to the plan….and if I’ve missed something….I’ll go again…haha…

So I’ll ascend to the city of Jerusalem on the 23rd…and I have 4 nights booked at the Jerusalem Agron HI hostel…perhaps not enough time to see all I want to see and do all I want to do, but at least I was able to get 4 nights and I’m hoping I might have a little leftover time at the end of my trip to revisit here……

On the morning of the 27th, I’ll descend to the shore of the Dead Sea and begin a rather long ride to Masada HI hostel. I had hoped to get En Gedi….but it was booked….so I’ll have a longer ride….bummer….but I’ll STOP at en Gedi at least….thinking…..I probably will regret not breaking this up so I might have to change it yet….Anyhow….I have two nights booked at Masada …so if I have to backtrack to En Gedi hot springs, then so be it….you know how I hate to miss a hot spring!....and I want to taste that famous water that David refused to drink….because they had risked so much to get it for him…and possibly taste some of those grapes that Solomon raved about in the S of S….HAHA…(*note to self… Frommer’s guide)

I leave Masada on the morning of the 29….EEK…I hope I will have had the good sense to ride the cable car up to the top and see where those famous Jews made their last stand against the Roman army… trip’s almost half over at this point…..So in the first half of the trip, I’ve got 14 of the 16 nights accommodation already booked. That is the end of what I’ve planned so far.

I’m still thinking what I want to do next. I can either be a weenie, and head straight down the relatively flat Arava route to Eilat…..or I can head over some hills and make a point to see the Ramon Crater and other wonderful…eerie landscapes….In either case I think it will take me three days there and three days back….so I’m considering riding a bus for part of the trip through the Negev. When I get to Eilat, I want to use maybe 2 or three days to visit Wadi Rum and Petra in Jordan. I’m still debating whether I want to cycle over there, or possibly buy a bus excursion of some kind….anyhow, it is in my mind to see those places….and I’d love to see them both in the early morning and the sunset hours….because I’d love to take pictures like they have in National Geographic…HAHAHA!....and I want to ride a horse….or possibly a camel…..hehehe. And I want to also spend a day or to in Eilat, snorkeling or scuba diving in the Red Sea…..After that I can happily head back to Jerusalem…or Tel Aviv, either cycling or bussing….depending on time constraints…..and if there to fritter away what remaining hours and minutes I may have doing whatever remains to be done….None the accommodations are booked yet for this second half.

You can get…and I plan to….a green card….which is a national park pass which gets you admission to 65 parks and historic sites….for only 120NIS= $33C. If I get this pass…then I will free go see so much more than if I have to shell out $10 every time I go through a door or a gate…. With the pass, I won’t feel bad about going in briefly wherever I feel like and not worrying about whether I’ll get my money’s worth or I’m wasting my time. There are a lot of things to see….and if I’m not impressed I’ll feel free to shove off…..I’m thinking about a bus pass too….but need better information….I want to cycle and so I’ll consider whether individual bus tickets might be more economical or if it looks like I’m going to want to park my bike at each stop and bus around, then maybe a bus pass would make sense…anyhow…still working on that one….

I’ve deleted the rest of your correspondence… I’ve decided to broadcast this email to a few other’s…and maybe since it’s so long, I’ll put it on my blog and add to it as plans progress and the trip becomes a reality. The time is ripe….I can’t wait go until I’m too old and crippley to do this. Time is a wasting…..


mamalena said...

This is a link the the HI website if you want to check out the hostels I've booked to stay at. For the most part they look pretty posh....

paige said...

my heart beats a little faster just reading your plans. i think you should keep a journal & type in your blog entries at internet cafe's along the way.
There is such a desire in me to see this part of the world too... just to get a better understanding & to spend some time soaking in the *reality* of the biblical stories. i'm so excited for you mom. i refuse to live my life by fear either.
can't wait to check out the link.