The Carmel Coast offers more than a physical riding experience . It's a ride through history as it is located in what is known geographically and historically as the Cradle of Civilization. If you were under the impression that the Cradle was in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers you are misinformed. The cradle stretches all the way from Mesopotamia where the rivers flow and even encompasses the coast of ancient Canaan. Where we rode is at the heart of the western part of the Cradle. It is also commonly believed that the Cradle was the location of the Garden of Eden but where exactly is firstly a matter of whether you are a true believer or a skeptic.
As for Mesopotamia all that's left is a mess and no "potamia", a battle ground for Shiites and Sunnis and drug war lords is all that remains.
Just a couple of KL's from where we began our ride at Ein Carmel runs Cave Creek, flowing from Daliyat El Carmel westwards to the sea. At its widest point near Road 40 are located four large caves which historians, anthropologists and archeologists have excavated for almost a century and is now a recognized Unesco Historical site. The excavators who commenced work on the caves in the 1920's eventually realized that the region was inhabited for almost half a million years of continuous prehistoric and historic primate groups including eventually those of the homo sapiens, our own forefathers. The reason for this ongoing presence were the ideal conditions which included water from the creek, abundant animals to hunt (coming to from the creek) and the nearby sea which provided fishing opportunities. Last but not least were the caves themselves which offered shelter. And over the centuries these "cavemen" also developed into omnivorous societies eventually cultivating their own crops. An ideal place and what some scholars believe is the perfect description of the Garden of Eden.
We departed from Ein Hacrmel to the south and passed by the ancient abandoned quarry which had been used for centuries as a water storage facility and is fed by the very Cave Creek mentioned above.
We passed Ein Ayala where delicious peppers are grown (Uri tested one to be certain) and rode up the hill to Habonim for a brief description on the history of the area including the ruins of the Crusader castle. The trail led us southwards to Nachsholim Dor where we started to ride along the sandy beach northwards to the climb to ancient Dor, one of the oldest cities in the world and a site of great scenic views. A brief description was delivered on the use of sand and how Dor and the region are connected to modern day Israel and off we rode into the sandy tails of the Hof Carmel Nature Reserve. We later veered slightly eastwards to cross the railway line at the tragic crossing where 22 persons lost their lives in 1985 as a bus stalled on the lines. From there we rode towards the Para Dive centre and viewed the parachutes falling like feathers initially and towards the end picking up speed on the "final approach".
The favourable weather enabled us to "breeze" along and in no time we were back to the parking area. Some of us had a breakfast at the Zichron Mall where I couldn't help but reflect on how we had advanced since the early caveman….although there are moments when I am in doubt if to judge by the ongoing conflicts in the region and elsewhere.
Our mascot, brave young Yoav. riding like an adult also put a smile on all our faces. Keep up the good work Michal!! A great ride with great company in great weather and super scenery.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: