Published: November 3rd 2009November 1st 2009
sea of galilee
Rode too the waters edge and hoped for the best, but all I got was wet
Yesterday I went on a ride into the mountains of northern Israel, they are called the Gollan heights and it is edged by the Jordan river which feeds the sea of Galilee (or Tiberias as it is now known ). This is the Garden of Israel and full of banana plantations and other market gardening ventures set up by the multinational company's.Is is a very fertile area and the mountains have a rugged beauty about them. The air Is much cleaner and also a dammed sight cooler.
I stop by Nazereth, known for being Christ's home town, bit like growing up in Luton, not alot to be said for this place, developed without thought, a mess without character or many redeeming features at all.Moved quickly on to Tiberias and did a lap of the Sea, found a nice beach and watched the locals play with there hummers in the sand and jet ski's and seadoo's in the water. Was strange to see people wade into the water with a cup and drink directly from the water (this is a fresh water sea that is used for much of Israel and Palestine ), do they not pee in it when swimming ?
makes the bike look huge ehh
Went for a paddle and asked the sea to part a little, to no avail,maybe you need someone chasing you?
Set off home and decided to take the road less traveled, this is because it passes through a heavily millitarised zone that is not marked on the map !!!!lol. no worries. Into and through a bit of Palestine again and keep heading west, then I hit a snag, It was Saturday and everything was shut because of the sabat, was about 80km from tel aviv and the fuel light had just come on, this being Palestine there was not an abundance of fuel stations, not an abundance of anything in fact. Continued at a cautious pace, passed two closed garages and a border back into Israel where the question of benzine was too much for the 18 year old on guard duty, The trip by this point was telling me i had traveled 50km, hmm most i had ever done was 40 miles so i guessed it had got maybe another 15km left in it.Got to tel aviv and was sure the bike was going to cough and splutter to a halt on the motorway heading into to town, but
Captain Kirk insisting they let us in the Alexandria harbor, his second in command Gilbert named after a rugby ball !!
no, it made it to the first open garage and swallowed 105 sheckles of fuel, and i swallowed a big dose of relief to not be pushing it home.
To celebrate I went Libyan with the food and very nice it was too, many beers later I was showered and relaxed wondering what tomorrow might bring in my quest to get out of this place.
I am sitting at my writing bureau in my cabin on the Grande Bretagne which might give the game away, the Port came and went I got searched, my stuff got searched, I was made to feel like a criminal for not being Jewish and being in their land which i was told had been theirs since neolithic times, thankfully I dont have any Palestinian relations ????? my photos and computer got checked for dodgy stuff, thank god I deleted Bobs emails ...lol
And eventually i was let onto the boat, which is massive, got a real nice cabin, with sea view and was enjoying a shower after lunch of pasta followed by red snapper and get a knock at the door, myself and the one other passenger, a Jewish guy from Andorra called
These cars were treated with so much care and respect whilst being loaded it was a joy to see them driven by drivers from the Italian job. Then they sit on top deck rusting in sea water for a couple of weeks.Fiat anyone ?
Gad had been let on the boat but the forwarder had forgotten about immigration!!!! so we were escorted back off the vessel to go to an office and be scowled at my a fat woman with picture painted nails, passports stamped or not in my case as i requested it not to be, and then driven at much haste by the fixer/forwarder back to the ship, whereupon I resumed my shower.
Set sail about an hour ago, the waters are duck pond flat and long may it continue, next stop Alexandria In Egypt.
Last night we were moored outside of Alexandria harbor Egypt for an eternity waiting for a spot to be made available to dock, think it was around two'ish when i awoke to find us portside, took a couple of quick pics even though it is expressly forbidden. Woke to find us still being loaded, took breakfast then patrolled the ship, found an unsecured internet connection and checked my mail, sunbathed for a while and then lunch, spaghetti in tomato sauce,then a fish course then steak followed by an orange.
We cruised out of the harbor into the Mediterranean turquoise blue sea, did a little more
I want one of these, wicked, made the hummers look like a toy, would love to see them in the dunes.
sunbathing with my Jewish buddy, still suspect him of being a spy for the Israeli special services, asks too many questions,especially of my involvement with Syria.
Went for a 20min 4k run on the treadmill, nearly killed me, so out of condition.
Highlight of the day was watching the amazing flying fish, swoop and carve through the air just above the waves. No dolphins though.
Dinner awaits, we had pasta, surprise that one ehh followed by steak and that followed by cheese, had four glasses of wine on the account my Jewish traveling companion only has kosher food and dont partake in alcohol!!!!!
A storm is keeping us entertained on the port side of the vessel, the lightening strikes lighting up the night sky with a ferocity that reminds me that we are like a grain of sand in a desert.
Woke up to find the storm had passed and the sea was duck pond flat yet again, breakfast is calling. The phone went and the message said welcome to Greece, this brought back fond memories from not long ago, but it feels like a lifetime for some reason.
I am looking forward to Italy,would be nice if kitty and jo could spend a long weekend at the santa caterina, but I doubt they will do.
Just come off the phone to them, was nice to hear there voices, I miss them.
Just had a tour around the engine room, not bad, just like any large industrial motor.
lunch, pasta in tomato sauce yet again, followed by salmon and then stew and a banana.
it rained !!!! first time i had seen precipitation for nearly three months,made me feel like i was nearing home.
We have an exercise at 4.30, its a secret so dont tell anyone, have to assemble on deck with life jacket on, lol been well prepped by Salvatore the steward.
I am terribly bored and aching to get on my bike, wish there was something to do other than read and think, I day dream but realise my dreams may never come true.
The exercise happened on time without incident, as the crew all were being blown about outside we were given a dispensation and allowed to stay in the officers mess, watching Italian big brother still with life jackets on.
Later we had dinner, my waist has gone from a tight 34 to an even tighter 38.
Had my compatriots wine again, lol its the only thing keeping me sane. Gilbert (second in command ) had a chat and tells us its a force six but no worries, when in bed later its a strange sensation.you can feel your body being raised from the mattress and then so softly but firmly squashed back into its depths, strangely erotic.
A blast of the ships horn must have woken everyone up at around 6.30, peered out of the window to find us going through the little passage between Sicily and Mesina at the tip of the boot of Italy.Should get to salerno around 4ish, asked the captain if we can stay the night on the vessel and then get off early fri morning.
Lunch was followed by better news, the second mate tells me the boat is continuing onto savona after all, and I am welcome to hitch a lift.sorted, saves 1000km and a night in a hotel.
Its around 1.30 and looks like we are about to head into Salerno harbour.
Docked around three, showered and dinner at six, then the captains mate gave us a pass out to step ashore mehearties!!!!
Hit the town and found an internet connection, spoke to kitty and jo who were having lilly and tom over for a meal, gad used the laptop (my traveling companion ) to sort his weeks worth of mail too.
Had a few beers.... and found the ship again much much later. twas a good night,why does it feel like the floor was moving standing still, will take a while to acclimatise back to dry land I think.Or was it the beer.lol.
Boat has taken on 1500 fiat puntos plus other assorted vehicles and machinery according to the crew.
They plan to leave around three ish,(high tide) and the run to Savona takes 21hours.The weather although cooler is still nice and we were sitting outside at ten last night in just a light fleece.
Salerno is a nice town, rather small with a center filled with cafes and bars,shame we cant spend longer here.The architecture makes you think the town has a bit of history and its faded glory peeps through the undergrowth every now and again.Internet was very poor and I am now feeling isolated not being able to communicate with people or do any research for the next part of the trip. For some reason I am getting restless and need to do some miles to clear my head, my thoughts drift and I am considering what to do when I return, but that is so so far away yet.
Journal Entry: Saturday, October 31, 2009
Time: 6:41 PM
Rode from Savona to Genoa and tried for the Tangiers ferry, Hmm just leaving the port damm, the ferry I could get was to Tunisia....hmm return is in a week. Will try to cross Algeria, if that don't work i have a bit of a vacation in Tunisia.Then back to Italy and again try to get to Tangiers. (not the easiest place in the world to get a ferry too )
Ferry seems ok, but im stuck on it for 21 hours. Could have cadged a lift to Valencia, why didnt i do that, cause i was sick of being on a ferry !!!!!
This part of Italy looked very nice, cant believe I have traveled from top to bottom and still not had an ice cream, kitty would disown me if she knew.
The weather is soo much cooler, i nearly have to put a jumper on,next stop Tunis with all the desert racers.