07.50 still no coffee, still no tea
07.55 call Itai, ..Hallo hallo......poor lad.....feeling poorly..!!!!
7 of us Spokes and we began today's ride from Einat. Went down South over the bridge and started riding parallel to the railway tracks. We hit the mud; oh boy did we hit the mud. Some of us just about got through some not. Then trouble struck. Benny's ear (well actually his rear derailleur pivot bracket) snapped off and that was the end of his ride. Very bravely he got back on track !! and had to walk all the way back to the cars. We tried cleaning the bikes up a bit and then carried on towards the first stop. This was an impressive building in the middle of the Yar Nachshonim forest which we think was used as a memorial or as a storage facility back in the Roman era. You can still see the archway in the entrance.
From here we continued via a delightful "single" , past the entrance to El Ad and on to Yar Koola which was named after the Arab village which was here before 1948. Just before we got to Yar Koola we visited the "Mausoleum" a very impressive memorial built by one of the wealthy families in the Roman era as a last resting place for their kin. This is a most imposing building with Corinthian pillars and arched ceilings and is today still in remarkably good condition. From here we rode up the meandering slopes of the forest and for a few moments joined the trance party still going on at full volume. Refusing the many initiations to join in we continued upwards until we arrived at the Koola memorial.
This was built to honor the 32 fallen soldiers of the Alexandroni Brigade who gave their lives in the 1948 war of Independence.
After this energy break we climbed a steep technical ascent and rode along the Eastern fence of El Ad till the summit. Here the majority prevailed and we decided to shorten the route and return via the quarries and back to Einat for a great Shakshooka ending.
All in all a great morning out and perhaps one day we will visit Hirbet El Hamam.