Stretches of Roads Near Eilat Are Potential Death Traps

Netafim-Eilat highway bends, twists, and undulates in sharp curves that rival stretches of Tour de France.

Even cyclists know that the stretch of road from Netafim to Eilat can turn into a death trap. This tarmac road bends, twists and undulates in steep and sharp curves, towering over deep ravines on both sides.

Many times I climbed up the difficult mounts from Kikar Shachmo in Eilat to Netafim - a 10-kilometer leg of incessant effort steep enough to rival some of the stretches of the Tour de France. The descent is also the stuff of nightmares, but for different reasons.

The ascent requires physical fitness, determination and persistence. The descent invokes a feeling of release. The road is usually empty, inviting fast rides. The sudden bends only amplify the feeling of awe and delight, in full and spectacular view of the desert and the red mountains around Eilat, which change hue according to the light.

Though tempting, riding down that road in full speed is incredibly risky. A fraction of second of hesitation could send the cycler to a certain death on the rocks.

In fact, the road is so dangerous that even running downhill is a frightening experience.