By Louis the Scooterer
The travels of Louis the Scooterer, a retired former South African who has found an unusual way of getting to know Israel.
Part Nine – North to Ashkelon and Ashdod
Editor’s Note. It seems that this article was originally assembled using external links to the photos, and these no longer work, so unfortunately they are lost.
Eventually we leave Be’er Sheva and head north, decisions decisions ! Do we go on 31 and visit some places then on to 40 and north or do we go on 25 to north by the coastal route? Then on a future trip (a long way in the future) come back via 40, lets toss a coin., okay we go 25, so lets go.
We stop after a few minutes at Lon Park and drink a coffee under a tree, then again after a few minutes drive we are at a small airfield where a few private small planes are in the air, doing their thing. There are no facilities for visitors and we watch for a few minutes and chat with one pilot / owner, but he was anxious to fly and not to talk, and we continue and drive through a few moshavim with NO signs for coffeshop.
I must mention (again), that not in every place will be people walking around looking to make conversation with a stranger scooterer. I may drive thru and see some interesting “things” and put-on my “imagination cap” while I may watch workers in a field or some road construction or whatever.
I can safely say there are always things to see, then when I meet and talk to a person, that is a bonus. When they invite me to their home to drink a coffee, and they show me places nearby to visit, that is a double-bonus and happens ( but not frequently enough)
Also I need to use my common sense, like one time I asked a group of picnickers why they chose that particular place ?, I was invited to join in the Barmitzva barbeque, AND after a few minutes every adult guest was interested in what I did and where I went, and they ignored the Barmitzva Boy. I felt awfully guilty and said my goodbyes, but they would not let me go before they packed food and drinks for me, enough for 6 people.
ALSO a point to mention, if the main gate at the entrance to a moshav or a kibbutz is locked., (on a Saturday)..that means the place is inhabited by religious families, and you can park the vehicle at the main gate and walk to the place you are visiting.
Picture: Leaving Be’er Sheva at sunset. Roof of car in foreground
So, after our coffee at Lon Park we continue and pass several regional schools and agricultural farms where many hours would be needed for a simple visit, so we need to pass by and shortly we arrive at Yad Mordechai shopping mall with an excellent restaurant where we need a snack and coffee, and can purchase ornaments and spend a little time browsing around, also has a lovely nursery to buy plants and shrubs.
The Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is a few hundred meters further along and has a marvellous museum, ( again a few hours needed). Also time needed to watch the bees producing honey.
We pick-up route 4 and a short stop at a tiny neighbourhood called Bat Hadar which has a petrol station, and the owner told us to drive past the country club which has a beautiful swimming pool.
A few minutes later we drive into Ashkelon, which has some lovely beaches and of course is a town with parks and gardens and needs many hours, so we force ourselves to take a few pictures, and drive on to Ashdod which has a major port and beaches and a marina and some amazing buildings for pictures.
And no matter how long we stay, it is never enough, and soon we will again be heading north….again….
and with my one front tooth I say..bye for now.
Picture: Alpaca farm just outside Mitzpe Ramon
Louis the Scooterer is 69 years old and it sounds like he’s just getting started.