31 Aug, 2012
Yoav wanted to check out a part of the Nabaatean incense trade route. So we headed down do the ancient city of Avdat.
After the long ride down south to Avdat, we stopped for fuel and a short rest.
Yoav wanted to check out some water holes that are supposed to be 2 kilometers from the gas station, so we crossed the road and entered the trails.
We saw some man-made caves in the hillside across a seasonal stream.
But there was no sign of the water holes.
Yoav went on foot to see if he can find them.
But he came back empty handed. We realized that we spent too much time, so we headed back to the road and left for the trail south-east to Makhtesh Ramon.
The vast desert was in front of us.
The trail led us through a military urban fighting training complex. Which is a fancy way of saying “a bunch of buildings in the middle of nowhere”.
Yoav had a go at motorcycle-urban-fighting,
and suffered casualties.
We moved on when all of a sudden, Zin valley was revealed in all its glory.
We made a short detour and rode on a short path down the side of the edge of the the cliff. this led us to the entrance of the old oil caves.
These two caves were excavated during the 70′s as a emergency oil reservoir, but were abandoned shortly after.
The ledge provides a great view of Zin valley.
Since the cave is such a good shelter from the sun, we rested for a short while before moving on.
As we moved on south-east towards Mitzpe-Ramon, the trail led us up and down hills in a straight line.
We stopped to check out how to go down a tricky part of the trail when Yoav’s bike started going insane.
The FI warning light started flashing, indicating that something’s wrong with the bike. Since we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, we decided that Yoav will take his bike downhill with the engine turned off and we’ll inspect it further.
When we got to the bottom of the hill we left the bikes to cool off, hoping that it’s just a sensor that’s acting up because of the heat. After 10 or 15 minutes Yoav turned on the ignition and the FI flashing was gone.
We both breathed a sigh of relief and moved on.
There were some interesting things along the trail.
We then reached Machmal fort. This small Nabatean fort on the edge of the makhtesh was part of the incense route.
Yoav went on foot to see the ruins, while I stayed by the bikes.
When Yoav came back from his excursion, he found me trying to avoid the sun.
From the fort we headed west along the edge of the Makhtesh to Mitzpe-Ramon.
When we arrived to Mitzpe-Ramon, we refueled the bikes and ourselves and went on the 2 hour ride back home.