20.09.2008 40 °C
Tour day 3 from Hagoshrim to Sea of Gallilee
Today all the riders were cycling together for the first 20 km. that included the hand bikes. It is amazing to ride beside the hand bike riders and watch them climb the hills using their arms. This slowed down the our Canadian group driven by their testosterone. Our riders slowed down to talk to the vets. It was a magical morning for everyone.
Everything was arranged for me to ride on the back of a tandem thanks to Arris, the organizer from Beit Halochem. He really went that extra mile to ensure that all the participants were happy. Through his intervention a bicycle ride that could have ended for me became a memorable experience.
I was so pleased that I was able to ride. The captain of my bike was Edov. Riding with him gave me a very different riding experience. By being on the tandem I could talk to him throughout the ride. I learn about the history of the area we rode through. So much of the area had been Syrian territory for many years and we were still very close to the Syrian border.
On one stretch of the road it was very shaded. Edov explained to me that the Syrians had planted the trees so the could hide in the forest and attack the Israelis. It is amazing that this forest was planted with evil intensions has become such a welcome relief for cycling in the heat.
It took me a short time to get used to riding on the back of the tandem particularly because Edov is such a strong, capable rider.
That night we stayed at a kibbutz at Lake Kinneret (Sea of Gallilee). As we rode down toward the lake, the temperature started climbing, and was close to 40 degrees, at lake level Since our luggage hadn't arrived we decided to go for a swim. Walking to the beach without shoes proved to be very difficult. The sand on the beach was so hot it felt like our feet were burning. The walk to the water was very long because the water in the lake had receded over 2 meters in the past few years. There was some discussion that the Syrians were taking water from the soureces it controlled and not letting it go to the lake. This is frightening because the lake is Israel's main source of fresh water.
The water was almost as warm as the ait, though there were some relatively cool spots, and the bottom was very muddy . It didn't proviide us with the relief we were looking for.
And then the long walk back on the hot sand!