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First Car Rally was Top Gear!

Way to go ... studying a map before setting off on the car rally are (from left) Candy Bliss, Barbara Kliner, Gill Cole and Carole Kaye. Story and photo by Stephen Kliner

At 09.30 am on a balmy Wednesday, September 13th, 33 people gathered for coffee at Moshav Haniel, in the garden of Gill and Ronnie Cole, before setting out on ESRA Netanya's first Car Rally.

Each of the ten participating cars was released at five minutely intervals, with a list of cryptic clues of the route to be followed, information to be gathered at each of ten stages, objects to be collected and questions to be answered along the way.

With a strict time-limit of two and a half hours - a penalty for those who took longer - the cars set out following a beautiful 75 km route round the Emek Hefer countryside. Whilst counting the number of petrol stations passed, some of the sites that should have been visited included – the sculpture park in Moshav Burgata, Dr Seuss' horse shop in Kibbutz Yad Hanna (named after Hannah Szenes), the War of Independence Memorial and Crusader/Mamluk castle ruins at Kakun, Holocaust Museum and petting farm in Kibbutz Hayim, cheese shop in Kfar HaRoe (named after HaRav Avraham HaCohen Kook), winery and Turtle Park at Nahal Alexander, Rami Chen lookout at Bat Chen, Bet HaGedudim Museum in Avichayil, Ladder in the Sky and prison at Bet Lyd Junction and the commemorative park in Haniel.

Once the sites had been visited, questions answered and objects collected everyone returned to the Coles' garden. The question sheets were marked, scores tallied and the winners announced. The winning Team of Toni Green, Nina Zuck and Norma Petavitz won a voucher for breakfast at Landver Café, Netanya.

Barbara Kliner, Chair of ESRA Netanya, gave a vote of thanks to Neil Spungin for planning the excellently organized rally, Gill and Ronnie Cole for opening up their home and garden, and the ESRA Netanya Events Committee for organizing this innovative event which raised much needed funds for the Netanya projects.

After the formalities everyone sat on in the Coles' garden enjoying their picnic lunches, arguing about answers to the questions and generally chattering under the shade of pomelo trees, with the opportunity to shmooze - catching up with old friends and making new friends.

Participants were later quoted as commenting:

'Absolutely great fun, terrific planning, ideal amount of walking and driving, timed to perfection, extremely interesting, best car rally I have ever been to. Could not have been better' – Ronnie Cole

'Absolutely great, enjoyed every minute' – Sue Lever

'Excellent fun, very stimulating, much more fun than bingo' – Ann Levin

'Great fun, found out things that didn't know existed' – Nina Zuck

'Very well arranged, must have taken hours to organize. Hope this is first of many' – Laurie Bliss 



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