Last Friday, Gabi organised a ride down South and here is his report:
On Friday March 8th, 6 of us braved the very early morning hours and set off for Zeelim. Having arrived in Reim within 1 hour, we left one car there, piled into the other two and continued to Zeelim, where the ride began.
Right at the start we missed the regular entrance to the path, and fell on top of a long section of difficult, winding and in some places quite dangerous single track. Later we found out it was the "etgari" section, and there exists also a regular one paralleling it. Having survived it, some riding and some by walking part of the sections, we arrived at the famous "Ropes Bridge" - "Gesher Hachavalim" where we walked across and back, just for the fun of it. From there the path was very clearly marked all the way to the destination, some 34 kms from the beginning.
In spite of a quite dramatic and acrobatic fall which one of the riders took, and which transformed his appearance to resemble a battle-injured pirate, we continued relentlessly onward and all 6 made it in one piece to Reim. From there 3 drivers took the left-behind car, drove to Zeelim and returned with all 3 cars to Reim. Logistically speaking, it was a bit of an operation. But well worth it...
As to the track: it is every lunapark-lover's wet dream. The path runs more or less alongside the Bsor river, and is a narrow single-track in 95% of its length. Although there exists a more conventional 4x4 path running more or less in parallel. There is an endless sequence of downs and ups, twists and turns, and all of it is flowing, no rocks or sandy sections to interrupt the continuous motion. We could not hope for anything better. The Negev is still lush with vegetation, including patches of poppies (kalaniot) although they are obviously tired already. The path is hard and not sandy, the landscape is vintage Negev, and every turn is beautifully marked by directional arrows pointing the way.
All in all, it was a remarkable ride, although it was definitely not easy and also quite tiring. I would rate it medium in physical difficulty and medium technically. Not something resembling our customary Saturday morning rides. But for lovers of the adventure, it is a magical route. I plan to do it again in two weeks.
If you have any questions or want to get in touch for any reason, feel free to get in touch with David or John: