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17 September 2012 is the first day of the Israeli new year, the Hebrew calendar is different from what we are used to. But any reason is good enough to go for a ride.

In 2002 some riders got together for a ride to Masada close to the Dead sea, to see the first sunrise of the new year from there. My son was one of them. Since then it has become an annual ride and every year more riders are participating. Last year some 1500.

So this year it was time for me to have a go at it.

The sun rises here pretty early in the morning and to get there in time I will have to leave home at midnight.

First meeting was at a fuel station on the road from Haifa to Tel Aviv with riders from the North.

From there south to Tel Aviv and between 1 and 2 o’clock in the morning we gathered in a parking lot of a supermarket somewhere in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.

The riders just kept pouring in, on any kind of two wheeled vehicle with a motor on it.

We took of from the parking lot around 2 o’clock with a 3 hour ride ahead of us, there was some police escort out of the city.

Two stops where planned for fuel and food/drink. The coffee shops at our fuel stops got notice and will be open for us, with extra workforce to handle the load.

First we ride South on road 4 to Ashdod, where we take road 41 Eastward, at some junction we go South on road 40 till Beit Kama, the first fuel and refreshment stop.

At Lahaviem junction we take road 31 to Arad, another fuel stop at a coffee shop at the Shoked junction and on to Arad and beyond on road 31 till road 90, where we go North on the shore of the Dead see till Masada.

Everyone was riding at his own pace, so that the about 2000 motorcycles stretched out over several km.

When I arrived at Beit Kama, at 3.15 o’clock, the place was already full with motorcycles and still more came in while others already moved out to the next stop. It was too dark to make a good picture, the flash on the camera is only good for close up.

After Beit Kama you have to watch out for camels on the road.



Along the road there were more fuel stations. I did not stop at the Shoked junction, but drove on to Arad.

There I made the first pictures at a fuel station. That was around 4 o’clock.

Here was only one person working at the fuel station/coffee shop, so service was kind of slow.

This first pic is of my old TW and a new XTZ 1200 Super Tenere.

The SuperT won with a 6 gallon fuel tank that is 1 gallon more than my TW. But I wonder who has the biggest range.





Some other motorcycles at the Arad fuel station.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
After Arad the road curves down to the Dead sea and is cut out through the hills.

Actually can you call them hills if they are below sea level?

Arad is about 600 meter above sea level and the Dead sea is about 400 meter below sea level.











No pictures of this road, I was too busy riding this constantly curving road in the dark, all the while dodging those camels. Did not see any camels, but it is better to keep an eye open for them.

Lots of other riders past me by, some very close in the curves.

But I must say that everybody was riding as safe as possible and not that much faster than myself.
 

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At 4.50 o’clock I parked at the Masada site.







That dark stuff on the horizon in the East are the Moab mountains in the Kingdom of Jordan.

The darkness of the night is already gone, in another 20 minutes the sun should appear above the mountains.

At this time many engines roar out load, in memory of those who do not ride with us anymore.







The picture above is only part of the parking lot.







Some more corners in the parking lot.











Above us is the visitor centre with the cable car to go up the mountain.

Another 50/60 motorcycles are up there and the riders are spread out all over, sitting or standing, waiting for the sun.











That’s it. Mission accomplished, the sun is up and I ride up to the visitor centre.
 

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Discussion Starter #4




This is the parking lot seen from above. Many riders are already moving out.













On the road going north to Jerusalem







The Masada mountain in the middle of the pic, on the flat top King Herod build a retreat/fortress some 2000 years ago. We used to go up there on the path that you see zigzag up to the top. Our parking lot is on the left.

The Masada mountain is 20-40 meter above sea level, but some 410-430 meter above the road from where I took this picture.











Some km to the North is Ein Gedi, I roll in to the fuel station and see a line up of bikes waiting to get fuel.

My bike still has enough fuel to get me home, I have breakfast there and ride on.







At the northern tip of the Dead sea I finally see one of those dreaded camels that we have been warned about by the road signs and it is tied to a tree. It is the variety with one hump.

Here was one rider with a broken clutch cable and he used my tools to make an emergency repair.

Close to Jerusalem one old Vespa was broken down along the road, apparently the engine was seized from overheating, there was nothing I could do to help him.

For the rest of the ride home there was nothing special, just riding.



Much of the road was 4 lane highway and my speed was around 90 km/h, at 6500 rpm with 15/45 sprockets.

Even going uphill I could keep up 90 km/h, only on the steep hills it dropped to 65, still in fifth gear.

The XT 225 cylinder and piston make just enough difference in power.

When I set out in the night, I filled up the fuel tank at a fuel station on the road and filled up again at my return to the same fuel station with 18.5 liter, while the trip meter showed 456.6 km. After that there was another 17 km to get home.
 

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So much world, so little time. Thanks for that.
 

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Great pictures! Looks like a good way to start your New Year.
 

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A very interesting and enjoyable ride report! Thanks for broadening my horizons!
 

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Johanjos, great to see your post. And as well, enjoyed the pictures. I am not political or culturally astute. Are you folks now ahead of 'us' by a few months, or are you 'just now' operating in the same year as us? (
). I would say things look pretty dry, but given all the forest fires many of us have had the last few months, guess we are dry as well.......... Take care, stay well. Gerry
 

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Great pics! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Very interesting. I learn something new everyday. Problem is, I forget more things everyday than I learn new:blink: . Day-to-day deficit leaning disorder!
 

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Very nice. Thanks for that.
 

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La Shana Tova my friend.. Those are some great sites you have shown here..Thank you so much..Keep the adventures coming!
 

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Thanks for the pictures. It's nice to travel through someone elses eyes. Enjoy your new year and ride on!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the kind reply's.

mrgizmow:

After a half year of no rain it is pretty dry all over the country, but these pics are from the desert, that is not like the rest of the country.

On a daily base we use the same calendar as in most of the world and beside it the Hebrew calendar is used.

In the Hebrew calendar we are in the year 5773. Starting at creation.

Only for the last 1600 years or so, the new year has been celebrated in the autumn, before that it was celebrated in the spring season.

Some 20 years ago there was relatively much rain and all the hills surrounding the Dead sea where covered in green and flowers.
 
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