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Pura Reserve and Rochama Single

Bicycle tracks

Pura Reserve and Rochama Single

Geographic region: Northern Negev Desert

The Pura Reserve, named after the Pura ruins on its western edge, is called Hirbat al-Fura in Arabic. 

In the winter, there is a seasonal lake there in which the waters pool with the help of a dam that has been built to collect flood water. At the site there is a demolished bridge, the remains of the Turkish railway track that was paved during World War One from Lod to the Be’er Sheva railway station, continuing in the direction of Sinai and the Suez Canal, which was under British control. The bridge was destroyed in floods in the 1970s.

The reserve has plants of Mediterranean and desert origin. The reserve was defined in the 1960 and has not been damaged by grazing. At the sites there are limestone rocks from the Eocene epoch. It is advisable to visit the reserve in the winter months, February and March to enjoy the rich blossom of the common anemone. Also, there are other flowers in the reserve such as buttercups, poppies, large asphodels, anchusas and others. In the reserve you can find broom, orache and wormwood bushes and Vinca herbacea, Asphodelus fistulosus, Salvia dominica and common iris plantsץ

How to arrive:

The main entrance to the reserve is from highway 40. For arriving from Tel Aviv on Highway 40: Continue southward from Plugot Junction towards Beit Kama. After passing Moshav Achuzam (on the left), continue another 6 km southward on the road until you see the Pura reserve. For arriving from Be’er Sheva: Drive northward on Highway 40, pass Beit Kama Junction and continue northward towards Kiryat Gat. At Ma’achaz Junction, take care to avoid driving onto Highway 6 by sticking to the right lanes and continue on Highway 40 to Moshav Achuzam.Attention: At Moshav Achuzam, turn right into the Moshav, U-turn at its entrance and at the main junction turn left (to return southward). Drive south for about 6 km and turn right into the Pura reserve.

For arriving from Highway 6: Drive south until the last exit from Highway 6 (Ma’achaz), which merges into Highway 40.

Route:

Route length: 40 km

Difficulty level: Medium.

Recommended cycling seasons: Winter, mainly February and March, spring, autumn.

Cycling type: Circular: Singles

Ascents: About 500 meters cumulative. 

Route is suitable for: The route is suitable with previous experience in off-road cycling and with physical fitness suitable for riding such a distance / height.
Technical level: The route is technically easy and in the single stretches it is smooth and not technical.

Physical difficulty level: Medium

Attractions in the area: In the winter months, the site is full of anemones and it is advisable to visit it as part of the "Red South", Festival, a festival of blossoming and culture that is held each year in February, when the anemones blossom.

Description of the route:

We depart from the Pura reserve to visit the seasonal lake, which may be filled with rainwater and see various bird and fowl species. The lake is a result of a dam that was built to store floodwater to allow it to seep into the ground. Many avian species like to alight in the lake because besides the vegetation it also hosts frogs and small crabs. We continue towards the destroyed Turkish railway bridge that is above the Pura river bed and collapsed in 1970.

Afterward, we ride along the Hashikma (sycamore) trail that has been built at the site in the undulating hills until the Rochama Badlands. From there, we continue to Kibbutz Rochama and enter a number of selected stretches from the pretty, smooth single that the Jewish National Fund prepared.

We return via an impressive watchtower that overlooks the whole area and the Israel Trail towards Philip Farm, back to the starting point at Pura Reserve.

Difficulty - MEDIUM

South
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