A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

a day in the country

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 25, 2008

Last weekend, while the Doha negotiations were still underway, H and I decided that we needed to get away from it all. So we joined one of Lebanon’s many outdoors appreciation groups (Blue Carrot, Esprit Nomade, and Vamos Todos are the best known, but there are others) for a hike in the mountains.

It was a “typically Lebanese” hike in many ways: we waited 45 minutes after the scheduled departure date to make sure that the “group” had all arrived; we stopped for manoushe before starting our hike; and when we did start, we hiked for 10 minutes and stopped for 20, hiked for another 10 and stopped for 15, hiked for another 10 and then stopped for tea and coffee. (No, I’m not exaggerating – I was wearing a watch!)

But it was a convivial group and we enjoyed the much-needed dose of fresh air and sunshine – not to mention the hike leader, who knew a great deal about the region, and entertained us with bits of history and geography.

He also had a great sense of humor. As we passed an area covered in scrub flora and rocks of all sizes, he said: w hal manta2a ghaniye kteer bi ramal, with an utterly straight look on his face. It was a type of richness, I suppose – and his description made us all laugh.

View behind us as we started the first ascent:

View overlooking the Metn and/or Keserouan, I forget which (and as an American I claim no skill in geography):

It was a lovely day, and worth the two days of hobbling around that followed. Sore muscles and work-appropriate heels don’t mesh well together.

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