November 11th, 2016

Northern Negev –> Mitzpe Ramon

Today the Israel Ride entered the heart of the desert, and in doing so, climbed, and climbed some more. I had the privilege of following around the Chalutzim for the morning, and watched them as they conquered their toughest climb yet out of Makhtesh Gadol – a geological landform unique to the Negev Desert. All of our groups rode past magnificent desert vistas and ate lunch at Sde Boker, the gravesite of David Ben Gurion – the first Prime Minister of Israel. The Shomrim hiked to a beautiful desert spring in the afternoon, and then all were greeted at the end of the day by one of the most breath-taking sites of the trip, Mitzpe Ramon – home to the largest of the five makhteshim in Israel.

After three days of riding and non-stop work, we look forward to enjoying a restful and rejuvenating Shabbat. The day will feature optional programming including communal prayer, discussions, hikes, and yoga. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the work of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon, and of course, catch up on some sleep. We’ll then close out Shabbat with an epic Havdallah overlooking the maktesh.

Shabbat Shalom, and a great big Mazel Tov to all of our riders who have made it past the halfway point of their journey.

Yours truly,

Carlee Rosenthal
Program Coordinator – Hazon