Days 1, 2 and 3

Day 1 started poorly for me over some volcanic rock laden meadows. My wrists have been taking a pounding and I quickly realised a lightweight full suspension 29er would have been the best for this sort of terrain. My bike is quick uphill and easy on the lift and carry sections but the downhill sections off Mount Heron and around the Golan Heights in general are extremely rocky. The pace was stop start for me which created charging issues for my phone which works better on a constant pace so I’m riding with the locals who are able to provide light relief with information about various landmarks. The first night we slept on the floor within a kibbutz. Ezra is not continuing on to Eilat so I’ve decided to cycle with Ilan and Danny who are both going at a good pace but know when to stop, and where, in order to refuel so yesterday, day 2, it was great to swim in the River Jordan and cool down. In the evening we rode through the Biria Forest which was amazing. Within the space of 200 metres we saw a wild boar, two different birds of prey and hundreds of storks roosting in the trees. We eventually camped on a cliff edge surrounded by howling jackals with a fire to maintain morale. It’s been quite a trip so far.
Day 3 has again been tough. Temperatures were brutally hot today. Over 40 degrees centigrade. It just so happens the Sea of Galilee is 200 metres below sea level and consequently it’s like being in an oven. We’ve been circling this lake for the past three days now so I’m glad to see the back of it however beautiful it may be. We descended off Mount Meron which with it’s bouldery harshness was again rattling me and my bike around. The day ended on a high with some amazing singletrack riding in the dark. It seemed to roll on forever. We’re now sleeping under cover near a bike shop.
I think we’re well down the field at the moment but people are dropping out or having various mechanicals and fingers crossed my bike’s been holding up on terrain which it really wasn’t built for. The important thing for me is to enjoy the challenge.

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