Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nahr Ibrahim

Trekking to the “Promised Paradise”. This “Trekking syndrome”

Note 1:  Re-edited version of the previous post “Promised Paradise way on Nahr Ibrahim (Lebanon), April 2010”

Note 2: I opened a special category on my blog “Travel/Excursion” to collect all my trips stories.

My body is aching from yesterday horrendous adventure.

In the last three weeks, my nephew William has been trekking sections of Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River, in the district of Byblos) in company of the wonderful and non complaining dog Misha.

Last Friday, my nephew blundered in my earshot that he is going trekking on Saturday.

I invited myself to be part of the trekking party.  My nephew didn’t respond: he was hoping that probably I am jesting. The next day I got my tiny backpack ready for the adventure; my nephew was pretty much lukewarm confronted with this readiness on my part.

(He might have had serious reservations (you might read my post on trekking in Sad Shabrouh for preliminary reasons.)

Obviously, I am wearing my swimming trunk: It is a matter of trekking by a river bed, but my nephew warned me that we will have to “wade” in sections of the river.

In my mind, wading means being submerged to the waist at best; I didn’t take into account reasonable factors such as slipping or falling into deep holes.

We left around 12:30 pm and quickly the mobiles brought news of a jammed highway which means most of the members will be late a couple of hours to the meeting place.

The Armenians in Lebanon were demonstrating/“celebrating” the holocaust they suffered by the Turks around 1915 and on.

William, Hanane, Misha, and I parked on the road of Nahr Ibrahim and ventured to the river shores.

William, Hanane, and Misha decided to push forward in the jungle; I opted to dip my feet in the cool water.  Half an hour later a group of five showed up; among them Clown Me Sabine and her Mexican assistant Gabie.

I told Gabie: “Ahora, me lise Jorge Amado, el Brazilian de Bahia”:  I am currently reading the French version of “Navigation de cabotage” (navigating along the coastal ports of seas or rivers.)

The newcomers promptly clowned lizards on the river rocks for 20 minutes (sunbathing). Then, feeling degraded by lizard behavior, they raised their adventurous spirit by one notch: They started to move from one rock to another very cautiously.

The mobiles brought news that the larger body of the trekking party is heading toward destination, to the lonely small village of Chowan in the bottom of the river valley.

Thus, William, Hanane, Misha showed up and we got on the move.  We met two men carrying towels where we parked: they are to simply descend a few stairs, reach the river, take a swim and leave.

The party was of around 20 members in 5 cars.

We parked in the lowest valley village I know.  It was a road to damnation, fit for barely one car but you had to backtrack for miles to let the opposite cars pass you by.

To my surprise, we were not to head straight to the river but along a long detour of 45 minutes walk: This is called “trekking syndrome” to first base.

We reached a section on the river to cross; it is about only ten meters wide; it is not a roaring Amazon by any stretch of the imagination.

Big George hopped leisurely to the other side; he is wearing just a swimming trunk and a tiny backpack.  I was encouraged to be among the first strong hearten members of the trekking party, as is usually the case.  I tied my old pair of khaki sneaker around my neck and raised my jeans to the knees; that should do the trick.

The first few steps got me face down; I am all wet and thus nothing mattered anymore.  I hurried my “wading” exercise and fell down several times before I reached destination.  I am bruised, physically and emotionally.

The few cigarettes I had in my shirt pocket are ruined; I decided to remove the cigarettes from the wet box to dry out the cigarettes. I gently picked one cigarette from the box; the filter part did easily separate from the body of the cigarette; it was the same case for the other cigarettes one by one. I had the pleasure of a discovery: the process of manufacturing local made cigarettes is basically gluing the filter part to the finished cigarette.

I undressed completely save my swimming trunk.

A few members were aligning a tree trunk to permit female members to cross the river safely.  Someone said to wait for my nephew since usually he brings a rope for that purpose. I cursed my hastiness, only to realize that my nephew wanted to emulate this adventure as Seal or Marine exercise: “you have got to feel the pain!”

George was in the middle of the river playing the school or scout guard in case of emergencies.

Suddenly, George exclaimed “I feel cold.” George remedy to warming up was to run like Tarzan to the promised paradise.

It goes without saying that I was the first to follow George.  I was not running at all: my wet sneakers weighted 20 pounds.  Then, I saw George hiding behind a bush up a mount like Tarzan; I was climbing to rejoin him when he pre-empted me: “Don’t climb. I lost my way” (Or maybe he was pissing?

Now George climbed a high rock in the river watching for any arriving company.  I ended “wading” my way by the river side to paradise land..

I am glad to report that “bodily navigation of cabbotage” by river side made much sense to me.  A few members of the party advanced me by using a secret path to a meeting location.  I said: “Better not stop. Let us move on to the Promised Land.”  Karim said: We have reached destination!”

That was a major letdown.  Apparently, the goal was to reach a puny and sickly waterfall.

George hopped behind the Nahr Ibrahim “Water fall”, climbed a rock and sat like a Buddha.  I lacked the energy to remove my sneaker and my Jean (weighing 50 pounds), then climb a slippery stupid rock and emulate Buddha.

I was the first to vacate Nahr Ibrahim Paradise and got lost on my way back; I got entangled by lichen and other sorts of nasty prickly branches.

Here, I am back to “wading” by the river side. I realized that both my sneakers’ soles are floating free; held miserably by the tip of the shoes.  I was no longer fooling myself: a military helicopter should land and take me home.

I reached first “base” wetter than a disgruntled cat.

One of the soles had vanished in the river. I didn’t wait and immediately re-crossed the Rubicon wading using my favorite technique known around the world as “Adonis super efficient wading technique”, to be emulated by Marines and Seals.

I reached second base and harangued the dozen members who smartly refused to cross the ridiculous ten-meter wide section to get going and follow the leader: I wanted to locate a sunny spot to dry my clothes.  A smart girl reminded me that the sun is no longer in vigor and barely could warm an ant.

Nothing could assassinate my plan: I have got to be first back to the parked car.

On second base there was a dying bonfire left by two dozens of foreign youths we met previously.  A plastic bottle was still sending fumes; someone said: “You are burning toxic materials”.  Oh, I forgot to mention that most members of the party are lovers of ecology and of the strictest kinds; many are by far more vegetarians than cows.

I lost my way again and waited for a member to show me the correct secret path.

My nephew picked up the second sole on his way and volunteered to relieve me of my weightless backpack: any pound less is a great boost to my morale. The last 100 yards to destination was the most voluptuous and rewarding trip stretch ever.

When we arrived home my nephew placed my sole-less sneakers on my room threshold along with one sole.

I asked him: “Why did you do that?”

I thought that I left my useless sneakers where we were parked as a warning to trekkers in the village of Chowan to cancel their project.

Devilish William refused to leave any material evidences that might discourage trekkers in those damned vicinity.

I made the last effort to visit my sister just to tell her “I think it is a miracle that I am back”.  My sleeping sister could not but chuckle and interject: “You are supposed to know better than anyone what a trekking project means to William.”

This trekking was a well planned project to inflict most pains and humiliation, but I turned out to be a leader on my way back; and second to the leaders in most of the adventure.

 

TOP 25: THINGS TO SEE & DO IN LEBANON THIS SUMMER

Afqa Waterfall - Afqa

With more than 5 million tourists from all over the world expected to visit Lebanon this summer, I thought I’d put together a list of places you guys can visit. Some of you may have already visited most of the following destinations however, I can guarantee you there are a few in there that you never knew existed.

(5 million tourists is a vastly exaggerated number, even in the best of years, especially with the new car explosion this June 20)

ALSO SEE: Top 10: Beach Resorts & Bars in Lebanon

Without too much beating around the bush, here are 25 amazing things to do and see in Lebanon this summer in no particular order:

1. Baatara Gorge Waterfall – Tannourine (map)

Baatara Gorge Waterfall Tannourine

During summer the water’s flow isn’t that strong, but it’s well worth the visit. Make sure you keep an eye our for the signs as there is a designated place you can park and walk straight down to the cave. Be very careful when crossing the natural bridge though.

2. Rikky’z – Faraya (map)

 

 

maxresdefault

A group of friends and I discovered this place by accident while driving through Faraya. Best wrong turn I’ve ever taken.

Rikky’z holds daily brunches for approximately $66, where they supply you with all the food and alcohol you need to have the time of your life. The owners are lovely people and will go out of their way to make you feel right at home. Definitely a must add to your Lebanon bucket list.

3. Our Lady of Leabnon – Harrissa (map)

Our Lady of Leabnon Harrissa

Overlooking the city of Jounieh, the Our Lady of Lebanon status is one of the most visited touristic sites in Lebanon. Thousands of people from all backgrounds and different religions make the trip to Harissa every year.

4. Raouchè Sea Rock – Raouchè (map)

Raouchè Sea Rock Raouchè

Again, another one of Lebanon’s most popular natural landmarks, the Raouchè Sea Rock can be viewed from the top or you can head down to the water and have a water taxi spin you around and through the rocks.

5. Ceders of Lebanon – Ariz (map)

Ceders of Lebanon - Arz

Lebanon is predominately known for its cedar trees. Hency why it occupies the national flag. During summer the Ariz region is filled with tourists purchasing souvenirs, relaxing in their villas and visiting some of the most delicious restaurants.

ALSO SEE: Top 5: Beirut Nightclubs

6. Chowan Waterfall – Nahr Ibrahim (It’s a joke)

Chowan Waterfall Nahr Ibrahim

After two long hours on the road, missing turns, smashing through pot holes and thirteen pittstops, we finally made it to Chowan waterfall located at the end of Nahr Ibrahim.

7. Nahr Ibrahim (map)

Naher Ibrahim

So Nahr Ibrahim stretches for several kilometres and as you saw previously, possess some great stops. My advice, jump in a car and drive alongside the river until you see a cool spot to stop over and take a quick dip.

8. Jeita Grotto – Jeita (map)

Jeita Grotto - Jeita

So close to making it into the Wonders of the World a couple years back, Jeita Grotto is a breathtaking cave covered in limestone that have formed over thousands of years. For a few dollars, you can travel through the natural river and sneak a couple illegal photos.

9. Saydit El Nourieh (Our lady the mendicant) – Chekka, after Batroun going north(map)

Saydit El Nourieh (Our lady of Nourieh) - Batroun

Overlooking Chekka, the Our Lady of Nourieh monastery has an amazing history behind it. Head up the hill and check out the views of Chekka and Tripoli.

ALSO SEE: Top 10: Beach Resorts & Bars in Lebanon

10. Jbeil – Byblos (map)

Jbeil - Byblos 1Jbeil - Byblos 2

Possibly the oldest city in the world, Byblos hosts ancient buildings and artifacts dating back thousands of years.

The city also has an amazing old Souk dominating with lively restaurants, pubs, and clubs that’ll keep you entertained for hours. When walking through the old streets, make sure you don’t trip over the cobblestone paved walkways 😉

11. Lake Qaraoun  (man-made)– Southern Region of the Beqaa Valley (map)

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 12.18.39 am

One of the many places I’ve been meaning to visit, but have never had the chance.

Will definitely be driving here this summer with a bottle of wine, some cheese, light music and a good group of friends to just chill.

12. Temple of Jupiter – Baalbek, Beqaa Valley (map)

Temple of Jupiter - Baalbek, Beqaa Valley

I visited the ruins of Baalbek when I was younger but haven’t had the chance in the last couple of years due to the unrest in the region. God willing, if the situation in Lebanon becomes a lot safer, you should definitely visit the temple and other ruins scattered across the site.

13. Downtown Beirut – Beirut (map)

Downtown Beirut - Beirut

Where the rich and famous are seen walking the streets alongside the poor. Downtown Beirut hosts everything from store front to store front of luxurious retailer designers to some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and bars.

14. Bekaa Valley (map)

Bekaa Valley

Similar to Nahr Ibrahim, Beqaa Valley is a whole region that could take you a day or two to scout efficiently. The entire area has secret, yet amazing, locations embedded that’ll have you staying longer than originally planned.

15. Msaylha Castle – Chekka, North Lebanon (map)

Msaylha Castle - Chekka, North Lebanon

If you’re from the North of Lebanon you will be very familiar with this castle as you most likely pass it on average twice a day on your way to and from Jounieh or Beirut. The castle is managed by a keeper, who after tipping a couple dollars, will allow you to roam the castle freely.

ALSO SEE: Top 5: Beirut Nightclubs

16. Kefraya – Western Region of Beqaa Valley (map)

Kefraya - Western Region of Beqaa Valley

Famous for its vineyards and amazing wine, Kefraya is a must if you’re interested in taking the family or a group of friends out to a memorable lunch.

17. Afqa Waterfall – Afqa (map)

Afqa Waterfall - Afqa

I give you my word that this waterfall will be the first place I visit in Lebanon this July. I stumbled across an Instagram photo of a group of mates swimming here on my flight back to Sydney last year and will not put my mind at ease until I’m doing the exact same.

18. Taanayel Walk – Taanayel (map)

Taanayel Walk - Taanayel

I’ve penciled in this romatic walkway for a potential outfit shoot for this July. I personally adore places like this, where you can go for strolls around the greenery and free your mind from everything.

19. Sidon Sea Castle – Sidon (map)

Sidon Sea Castle - Sidon

One of the most prominent archaeological sites in the port city of Sidon, stands the Sidon Castle built around 4000 BC.

20. Al-Khiam Restaurant – Al-Khiam, South Lebanon (map)

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 12.53.39 am

Another destination I have not been able to get to due to the instability of the country. After hearing about how amazing the food is here, it must be done this year!

21. Monastery of Saint Anthony – Kozhaya, North Lebanon (map)

ALSO SEE: Top 10: Beach Resorts & Bars in Lebanon

Monestary of Saint Anthony - Kozhaya, North Lebanon

This place is filled with so much peace, quiet and serenity. The holy monastery accommodates for monks who are on the journey to become priests.

22. Yahchouch Waterfall – Yahchouch (map)

Yahchouch Waterfall - Yahchouch

Yes, another waterfall. I want to make it my mission to find the most epic waterfall in Lebanon. The Yahchouch Waterfall definitely isn’t, but it’s something!

23. Kfar-Hilda Waterfall – Kfar-Hilda (map)

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 1.48.03 am

My last water related destination, I promise. Again, an ideal location to chill with the friends overnight, cooking meat on the bonfire, telling endless jokes and just having a genuinely great time.

24. Laqlouq Mountain Range – Laqlouq (map)

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 1.20.34 am

During the winter, the spectacular mountain range of Laqlouq is completely covered in snow. However during summer when the Mediterranean sun melts away all the snow, you’re left with the above view. Spectacular.

25. Mar Mikhael Stairs – Mar Mikhael, Beirut (map)

Mar Mikhael Stairs - Mar Mikhael, Beirut

Last but not least, the famous steps found through the streets of Mar Mikhael, Beirut.

These type of stairs have been seen all over the world, which brings me to my final point. Lebanon has inherited everything that other countries boast about from the nightlife, historical artefacts, hotels, restaurants, cars, people and or food.

So when you’re planning your next trip, Lebanon should be your number one ;)

Also check out:

Top 10: Beach Resorts & Bars in Lebanon

Top 5: Beirut Nightclubs

“Trekking syndrome”

Note:  This is the edited version with further details of the previous post “Promised Paradise way on Nahr Ibrahim (Lebanon)”

My body is aching from yesterday horrendous adventure. In the last three weeks, my nephew has been trekking sections of Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River, in the district of Byblos) in company of the wonderful and non complaining dog Misha.  Last Friday, my nephew blundered in my earshot that he is going trekking on Saturday.  I invited myself to be part of the trekking party.  My nephew didn’t respond: he was hoping that I am jesting most probably.  The next day I got my tiny backpack ready for the adventure; my nephew was pretty much lukewarm confronted with this readiness on my part; he might have serious reservations (you might read my post on trekking in Sad Shabrouh for preliminary reasons.)

Obviously, I am wearing my swimming trunk: It is a matter of trekking by a river bed but my nephew warned me that we will have to “wade” in sections of the river.  In my mind, wading means being submerged to the waist at best; I didn’t take into account reasonable factors such as slipping or falling into deep holes.

We left around 12:30 pm and quickly the mobiles brought news of a jammed highway which means most of the members will be late a couple of hours to the meeting place.  The Armenians in Lebanon were demonstrating/“celebrating” the holocaust they suffered by the Turks around 1915 and on.  William, Hanan, Misha, and I parked on the road of Nahr Ibrahim and ventured to the river shores. William, Hanan, and Misha decided to push forward in the jungle; I opted to dip my feet in the cool water.  Half an hour later a group of five showed up; among them Clown Me Sabine and her Mexican assistant Gabie.  I told Gabie: “Ahora, me lise Jorge Amado, el Brazilian de Bahia”:  I am currently reading the French version of “Navigation de cabotage” (navigating along the coastal ports of seas or rivers.)

The new comers promptly clowned lizards on the river rocks for 20 minutes; then, feeling degraded by lizard behavior they raised their adventurous spirit by one notch: They started to move from one rock to another very cautiously.  The mobiles brought news that the larger body of the trekking party is heading toward destination; the lonely small village of Shwan in the bottom of the river valley.  Thus, William, Hanan, Misha showed up and we got on the move.  We met two men carrying towels where we parked: they are to simply descend a few stairs, reach the river, take a swim and leave.

The party was of around 20 members in 5 cars.  We parked in the lowest valley village I know.  It was a road to damnation fit for barely one car but you had to backtrack for miles to let the opposite cars pass you by.  To my surprise, we were not to head straight to the river but along a long detour of 45 minutes walk: This is called “trekking syndrome” to first base.

We reached a section on the river to cross; it is about only ten meters; it is not a roaring Amazon by any stretch of the imagination. Big George hopped leisurely to the other side; he is wearing just a swimming trunk and a tiny backpack.  I was encouraged to be among the first strong hearted members of the trekking party, as is usually the case.  I tied my old pair of khaki sneaker around my neck and raised my jeans to the knees; that should do the trick. The first few steps got me face down; I am all wet and thus nothing mattered anymore.  I hurried my “wading” exercise and fell down several times before I reached destination.  I am bruised, physically and emotionally.

The few cigarettes I had in my shirt pocket are ruined; I decided to remove the cigarettes from the wet box to dry out the cigarettes; I gently picked one cigarette from the box; the filter part easily separated from the body of the cigarette; it was the same case for the other cigarettes one by one; I had the pleasure of a discovery: the process of manufacturing local made cigarettes is basically gluing the filter part to the finished cigarette.

I undressed completely save my swimming trunk.  A few members were aligning a tree trunk to permit female members crossing the river safely.  Someone said to wait for my nephew since usually he brings a rope for that purpose. I cursed my hastiness only to realize that my nephew wanted to make this adventure a Seal or Marine exercise: you have got to feel the pain!

George was in the middle of the river playing the school or scout guard in case of emergencies.  Suddenly, George exclaimed “I feel cold.” George remedy to warming up was to run like Tarzan to the promised paradise. It goes without saying that I was the first to follow George.  I was not running at all: my wet sneakers weighted 20 pounds.  Then, I saw George hiding behind a bush up a mount like Tarzan; I was climbing to rejoin him when he pre-empted me: “Don’t climb. I lost my way” Now George climbed a high rock in the river watching for any arriving company.  I ended “wading” my way by the river side to paradise land.. I am glad to report that “bodily navigation of cabotage” by river side made much sense to me.  A few members of the party advanced me using a secret path to a meeting location.  I said: “Better not stop. Let us move on to the Promised Land.”  Karim said: We have reached destination!”  That was a major letdown.  Apparently, the goal was to reach a puny and sickly waterfall.

George hopped behind the Nahr Ibrahim “Water fall”, climbed a rock and sat like Buddha.  I lacked the energy to remove my sneaker and Jean (weighting 50 pounds), then climb a slippery stupid rock and emulate Buddha.  I was the first to vacate Nahr Ibrahim Paradise and got lost on my way back; I got entangled by lichen and other sorts of nasty prickly branches.  I am back to “wading” by the river side. I realized that both my sneakers’ soles are floating free; held miserable by the tip of the shoes.  I was no longer fooling myself: a military helicopter should land and take me home.

I reached first “base” wetter than a disgruntled cat. One of soles had vanished in the river. I didn’t wait and immediately re-crossed the Rubicon wading using my favorite technique known around the world as “Adonis49 super efficient wading technique” to be emulated by Marines and Seals.  I reached second base and harangued the dozen members who smartly refused to cross the ridiculous ten-meter wide section to get going and follow the leader: I wanted to locate a sunny spot to dry my clothes.  A smart girl reminded me that the sun is no longer in vigor and barely could warm an ant.  Nothing could assassinate my plan: I have got to be first back to the parked car. On second base there was a dying bonfire left by two dozens of foreign youths we met previously.  A plastic bottle was still sending fumes; someone said: “You are burning toxic materials”.  Oh, I forgot to mention that most members of the party are lovers of ecology and of the strictest kinds; many are by far more vegetarians than cows.

I lost my way again and waited for a member to show me the correct secret path. My nephew picked up the second sole and volunteered to relieve me of my weightless backpack: any pound less is a great boost to my morale. The last 100 yards to destination was the most voluptuous and rewarding trip stretch ever.

When we arrived home my nephew placed my sole-less sneakers on my room threshold along with one sole.  I asked him: “Why did you do that?”  I thought that I left my useless sneakers where we were parked as a warning to trekkers in the village of Shwan to cancel their project.  Devilish William refused to leave any material evidences that might discourage trekkers in those damned vicinities.  I made the last effort to visit my sister just to tell her “I think it is a miracle that I am back”.  My sleeping sister could not but chuckle and interject: “You are supposed to know better than anyone what a trekking project means to William.”  This trekking was a well planned project to inflict most pains and humiliation but I turned out to be a leader on my way back; and second to leaders most of the adventure.

Promised Paradise way on Nahr Ibrahim (Lebanon); (Apr. 26, 2010)

My body is aching from yesterday horrendous adventure.

In the last three weeks, my nephew has been trekking sections of Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River, in the district of Byblos,) in company of the wonderful and non complaining dog Misha.

Last Friday, my nephew blundered in my earshot that he is going trekking on Saturday.  I invited myself to be part of the trekking party.  My nephew didn’t respond, hoping that I am most probably jesting.

The next day, I got my tiny backpack ready for the adventure.

My nephew was pretty much lukewarm when confronted with this readiness on my part: he might have serious reservations (you might read my post on trekking in Sad Shabrouh for preliminary causes)

Obviously, I am wearing my swimming trunk: It is a matter of trekking by a river bed, but my nephew warned me that we will have to “wade” in sections of the river.  In my mind, wading means being submerged to the waist at best; I didn’t take into account reasonable factors such as slipping or falling into deep holes.

The party was of around 20 membersand in 5 cars.

We parked in the lowest valley village I know; the village is called Showan (I might edit this post for further details later on).

We reached a section of the river to cross of about only ten meters. It is not a roaring Amazon by any stretch of the imagination.

Big George hopped leisurely to the other side; he is wearing just a swimming trunk and a tiny backpack; he looked like Tarzan.

I was encouraged to be among the first strong hearted member of the trekking party, as is usually the case.  I tied my old pair of khaki sneaker around my neck and raised my jeans to the knee. And that should do the trick.

The first few steps got me face down; I am all wet and thus, nothing mattered anymore.  I hurried my “wading” exercise and fell down several times before I reached destination.  I am bruised, physically and emotionally.

The few cigarettes I had in my shirt pocket are ruined; I decided to remove the cigarettes from the wet box to dry out the cigarettes. I gently picked one cigarette from the box by the filter part and the filter easily separated. And it was the case for the other cigarettes one by one.  I had the pleasure of a discovery: the process of manufacturing local made cigarettes is basically gluing the filter part to the finished cigarette.

I undressed completely, save my swimming trunk: Health dictated that the swimming trunk should go too.  A few members were aligning a tree trunk to permit female members to cross the river safely.

Someone said to wait for my nephew since usually he brings a rope for that purpose. I cursed my hastiness, only to realize that my nephew wanted to make this adventure a Seal or Marine exercise: you have got to feel the pain!

George was in the middle of the river playing the school or scout guard in case of emergencies.  Suddenly, George exclaimed “I feel cold.” George remedy to warming up was to run like Tarzan to the promised paradise.

It goes without saying that I was the first to follow George.  I was not running at all: my wet sneakers weighted 20 pounds.  Then, I saw George hiding behind a bush, up a mount like Tarzan; I was climbing to rejoin him when he preempted me: “Don’t climb. I lost my way.”

Now George climbed a high rock in the river watching for any arriving company.  I ended “wading” my way by the river side to paradise land..

I am glad to report that “bodily navigation of cabotage” by river side made much sense to me.  A few members of the party were advancing ahead of me, using a secret path to a location.  I said: “Better not stop. Let us move on to the Promised Land.”

Karim said: We have reached destination!”  That was a major letdown.  Apparently, the goal was to reach a puny and sickly waterfall.

George hopped behind the Nahr Ibrahim “Water fall”, climbed a rock and sat like Buddha.  I lacked the energy to remove my sneaker and Jeans (weighting 50 pounds), climb a slippery stupid rock and emulate Buddha.

I was the first to vacate Nahr Ibrahim Paradise and got lost on my way back.

I got entangled by lichen and other sorts of nasty prickly branches.  I am back to “wading” by the river side. I realized that the soles of my sneakers are floating free; held miserably by the tip of the shoes.  I was no longer fooling myself: a military helicopter should land and take me home.

I reached first “base” wetter than a disgruntled cat.

One of soles had vanished in the river. I didn’t wait and immediately re-crossed the Rubicon wading in my favorite technique, world known as “Adonis49 super efficient wading technique” to be emulated by Marines and Seals.

I reached second base and harangued the dozen members who smartly refused to cross to get going and follow me: I wanted to urgently locate a sunny spot to dry.   A smart girl reminded me that the sun is no longer vigorous and barely could warm an ant.

Nothing could assassinate my plan: I have got to be first back to the parked car.  I lost my way again and waited for a member to show me the correct secret path. My nephew picked up the second sole and volunteered to relieve me of my weightier backpack: any pound less is a great boost to my morale.

The last 100 yards to destination was the most voluptuous and rewarding trip stretch ever.

When we arrived home, my nephew placed my “sole-freed” sneakers on my room threshold, along with one wet sole.  I asked him: “Why did you do that?  I thought that I left my useless sneakers where we were parked” (as a warning to trekkers in the village of Shwan to cancel their prospective projects).

Devilish William refused to leave any material evidences that might discourage trekkers in those damned vicinities.  I made the last effort to visit my sister just to tell her “I think it is a miracle that I am back”.

My sleeping sister could not but chuckle and interject: “You are supposed to know better than anyone what a trekking project means to William.”

This trekking was a well planned project to inflict most pains and humiliation, but I turned out to be a leader on my way back; and second to leaders most of the adventure.


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