MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts

SUPPORT VEHICLES

We are always accompanied by our support vehicles. The support vehicles have several purposes. First of all they guide us through the country roads and small villages. Secondly they carry a considerable quantity of water, emergency bike repair kit, emergency medical kit and cardiac resuscitation equipment. Perhaps most importantly they transport weary cyclists and their bikes up hills (of which there are many on the first 2 days of the tour.)

 

ROADS AND TRAFFIC

The roads in Palestine are very good. Better than the local roads in Tuscany where I live. We have a police escort to hold up traffic when we arrive in the big cities; which is normally around the evening rush hour. Cities with busy traffic are Nablus, Bethlehem, Taybeh and Hebron.

 

SECURITY

People have often asked me about the security situation in Palestine. As a regular visitor (I teach at Birzeit University as well as cycle) I have this to say. In all my many trips to Palestine, as a professor and as a Bike Palestinian, I have never had any bother with either the Israeli Defence Force or fractious Palestinian youth. Palestinians have always been kind and welcoming. Palestine has long been a major tourist attraction, not least to pilgrims at Easter and Christmastime, so keeping things calm is in everyone's best business interests- on both sides of the conflict.

 

DIETARY PREFERENCES

Let know your dietary preferences so we can let the restaurants know them in advance. The Palestinians are not that familiar with vegetarian or vegan diets but I do my best to ask them to comply with your concerns.

DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE FROM ENDOMONDO

EASTER 2018 TOUR 1st May to 8th May 2018

AUTUMN 2018 TOUR 30th September to 7th October 2018

 

Bike Palestine is a joint venture between the Siraj Centre in Bethlehem & George Snow in Cortona, Italy

For further information contact George Snow at   george@bikepalestine.com

 

"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK

An overview of Palestine and the Levant

 

 

MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.
DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.
DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea. DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day. DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family. DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea. DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family. DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea. DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family. DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea. DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.
DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family. DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea. DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
"We wholeheartedly recommend Bike Palestine as a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside and meet with Palestinian people. We managed it at 60+ and were so glad that we were part of such a supportive and friendly group" Ann & Mike Eggboro, UK
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.
DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.
MAPS This is where we cycle and my thoughts
DAY 2 JENIN TO SEBASTIA We leave the Haddad Resort Hotel in Jenin around 7.30. We get a chance to test our bikes and get used to them in the hotel's car park. Traffic will be light. We do use a main road for a short while but it won't be busy. After an hour or so we start the climb up to Sebastia. No hill is too steep for an experienced, averagely fit, cyclist- but some will decide to take the minibus up some of the steeper sections. We arrive at Sebastia for lunch. This will be terrific I can promise. After that we take a walk around the ancient Roman citadel.
DAY 2 SEBASTIA TO NABLUS Now we set off from Sebastia mid-afternoon. We will be a little tired after the mornings efforts and our lunch- but thankfully the distance to Nablus is not great and it's nearly all downhill. We cycle close to the city centre but as the traffic will be heavy we take the support vehicle to the old city and our hotel and check in. As soon as I'm washed and showered I head off for the local Turkish Bath. If we arrive in Nablus early our women cyclists can get a chance to enjoy the Haram. After 6 o'clock it's the chap's turn to relax those weary muscles. I usually get a massage after the steaming. Just wonderful- and not at all expensive. Before the evening meal we'll get a guided tour of the old city scene which played a major role in the last Intifada. We'll pass the famous spice shop which I rate as world class. I buy my turmeric there. They have everything- and it's not at all expensive. We cycle around 51 kilometres in total on this day.
DAY 3 NABLUS TO DUMA Another hilly day. We leave early to try to avoid the morning rush hour. Usually we are too late- but the Palestinian drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We only have to endure heavy traffic for 20 minutes or so and then, on the outskirts of the city, the traffic melts away. After an easy start to the day we leave the main road and head up into the hills. There is a little off-road as we approach the village of Duma where we have lunch with a local family.
DAY 3 DUMA TO TAYBEH After lunch we head South towards Taybeh. There will be more hills to climb but these are followed by exhilarating downhills. As we approach Taybeh we have the most difficult hill to climb. Sometimes I go for it- sometimes I take the minibus. In September 2017 five of our riders took the hill on and made it all the way to the top. Bravo. I think I'll have a go this time. We cycle around 53 km in total on this day.
DAY 4 TAYBEH TO JERICHO Wow! This ride is just magnificent. All downhill and through the most delightful country. We start off in the green vineyards of Taybeh and cycle downhill to the barren but beautiful desert-scape of Jericho. Jericho, the oldest still inhabited city in the World, is 250 metres below sea level. It is very warm here but we do have a first class hotel, the Jericho resort, with an inviting pool (and first-class bar I should add). This is a very easy day. The ride is about 20 km and pretty much all downhill. We will be in our hotel around noon and then head off to see the archaeological site Hisham's Palace. After that we take a cable car up to the Mount of Temptation where we have lunch. The afternoon is divided between visiting the baptismal site of Christ on the River Jordan- and mud-larking in the Dead Sea. This day is deserved after 2 long journeys on the previous days. We cycle around 24 km on this day.
DAY 5 NABI MUSA TO THE DESERT Another early start. We have a short distance to cycle but we have to cross the desert before the Sun gets too high. We take the minibus to Nabi Musa from our hotel. Nabi Musa is reputedly the burial site of Moses. If you wish to enter the monastery you must be well covered; this includes chaps. Shoulders and legs. From Nabi Musa we cycle around 16 kilometres through gentle desert hills to a point where the road runs out. From here we walk. In case you're curious; the large black blob on the satellite picture of our route is the Dead Sea.
DAY 5 WALK ACROSS THE DESERT Riders have the option of taking the minibus to Bethlehem which is out ultimate destination for the day. Once you are committed to walking there is no turning back. Each walker will be given a litre of water. After 11 0'clock the Sun can be fierce so head covering and sun-block are essential. The walk to Mar Saba is around 3 hours. The first hour and a half is flat stony desert. The next hour is uphill, not too steep, until we arrive at the ravine into which Mar Saba is built. We then half walk and half scramble down into the ravine and cross the stream. After that we walk up a great many stairs to get to the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is for men only and they are required to be well covered. That means shoulders and legs. If you wish to visit the monastery then bring trousers and a suitable t-shirt with you on the walk. I usually take a small back-back with me to hold water, clothing and sun-block. After the monastery we take a minibus to Bethlehem. Here we have lunch which is followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity. In the evening we have a sensational meal at the Grotto restaurant. We cycle around 13 km, walk around 6 and feast like kings in the evening.
DAY 6 BETHLEHEM TO HEBRON There is one long hill on this day. I find myself pushing up most of it. Others take the minibus and a few champions will cycle all the way up. After that effort we have a section of main road for about 30 minutes. Then we take a smaller road through the pretty Wadi Si'ir. This section is not at all difficult. We usually pass the village of Wadi Si'ir just as the schools are coming out and we will be greeted by dozens of cheering schoolchildren. From Wadi Si'ir to Hebron is not far. A few kilometres. But the traffic in Hebron is always heavy so we will be given a police escort all the way to out hotel. The afternoon will be spent visiting the old city of Hebron and the Ibrahim Mosque. Here we come face to face with the daily reality of Palestinian life in the front-line of the Occupation. It's a bustling city though. Very much at the centre of Palestinian business and trade. Lunch will be with a local family. Our hotel is the Abu Marzen which is very up-market. In the evenings I may pop out for a shisha in the old city. We cycle around 32 kilometres on this day.
DAY 7 BETHLEHEM TO JERUSALEM We take the minibus from Hebron to Bethlehem. From there we have a short cycle to Jerusalem. There is steepish hill to start with but nothing to deter an average cyclist. We pass by Banksy's Walled Off Hotel and through Checkpoint 300. So- have your passports and the visa you were given at the airport with you in your back-pack. The traffic is very busy going into Jerusalem and we will not have the police escort we had while in the West Bank. There are a lot of traffic lights to deal with. We stop frequently to allow folks to catch up if they get caught at a red light. We stop near our hotel and hand back our bikes, helmets and high-visibility jackets. They won't be needed anymore. We check in at out hotel which is in the Old City. Then we have a guided tour of Jerusalem. If the ancient souk is not swamped with tourists this is a great walk with an excellent guide. We have lunch mid-way through our excursion. After the tour, which is the last organised event, we are free to do what we like. The evening meal will be provided by our hotel but prior to that I will slip off to the famed American Colony Hotel for few glasses of excellent French wine. Join me if you care too. We cycle around 9 kilometres this day.