Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I grasped the idea with both hands. Mostly, because it meant I could go down the Mt. Nebo climb. Again it was a fast, half hour non-stop downhill. What a shame that downhills last so short. It's almost like freefalling. I can really feel for the sky divers: organizing, preparing the parachute, getting in the plane, flying to the altitude, all that takes hours, just for 10 seconds of free fall enjoyment.

Down in the Dead Sea plane I tracked like a pointer the mysterious, non-signposted road to the Jordan/Israel border. This road is concealed as if it was a drug trafficking path. The border procedures lasted for about 3 hours, but to my surprise the Israelis didn't raise an eyebrow about seeing me with the bicycle. Well, almost. At the final gate the girl in charge broke into a hysteric laugh when she saw me on the bike.
“But you can’t go on a bike”, she said in between attacks of laughter.
“Why not?” I asked, and as she couldn’t answer this simple, logical question, she raised the ramp and let me into Israel.

There is an evident difference in road manners between Jordan and Israel. There was no honking, the drivers seemed to ignore me totally. There is a long gradual climb to Jerusalem, the last part of it with heavy traffic and on highway with a tunnel or two. The roads here are not designed for bikes, cycling seems to be a primitive undertaking here, worse then walking. I came to the town at dusk and it took another hour to find a hotel. No hot water or heating this time.

I took a day of rest in Jerusalem. The shops in the old town were closed due to Palestinian strike because of the Gaza events. Just fine with me - I don't have to wrestle with the touts.

Day 11: 84km. Day 12: 0km. Total 955km.


At August 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I entered Israel by bicycle at the King Hussein bridge the guy at the gate didn't want to let me pass because the slip of paper they give you said I was a pedestrian - but I was not as I was clearly riding a bicycle. I had to go back to get a vehicle pass, he said. The guy giving out the passes didn't wan to gibe me a vehicle pass because I wasn't a car either. It was a back and forth until I told them to talk to each other and then they finally let me pass.

Oh - and I also had to disassemble my bike to make it fit through the x-ray machine - front wheel, seat post, frame, all separate, I always wondered what they'd have done if it didn't fit?


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