Hiking at the Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve – A Sunday Getaway

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Sunday 22nd of January 2017, my alarm rang at 7.45. Why that early? because I had promised my very close girl friend to join her on a hiking excursion that very same day. A promise I intend not to cancel as I am known for backing away last minute.

No No Ranya, this time I am IN, I said to myself, over and over again in my head as the time to meet up drew closer. What was I getting myself into? Whoever knows me, knows very well that I am regularly active at the gym. Squats, jumping jacks, rope jumping, running, I do that easily, but hiking? Meh!!

And I went.. and I was up for a (good) surprise. Not only did I meet very interesting and well grounded people, I experienced newfound feelings and very much challenging constraints that I overcame.

The Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is located approximately 30-45min drive out of the capital in the Shouf district of Lebanon within the slopes of the Barouk mountains (an area of 550Km2 comprising the forests of Al-Maasser el Shouf, Barouk and Ain Zhalta). Yes you can imagine how vast the area is. I was thrilled when I knew we were going to the cedars of the shouf as that mountainous region is my favorite in Lebanon.

We arrived at destination and after renting our hiking ski shoes started onto our journey. My face dropped when I realized we were climbing the damn mountain. Sue me, I thought hiking comprised a straight forwarded path. Yes that triangularly shaped blessed mother natural thing, I was going to C-L-I-M-B. Thank you Ranya for your on-point information. I guess if she had told me that specific detail, I would have definitely not taken part of this suicidal mission. Did I forgot to mention to you all that I am scared of heights so ..yeah imagine my face. I took my destiny into my own hands, I mean bodily composure, and walked. And walked is what I did, for 3 hours!! Climbing those narrow passages were not easy. Zig zagging to make way to others when stopping to catch some breath, wanting to damn give up in the middle of this wonderful joy ride and trying not to look down (that much) was quite the experience for me.

It is only when we all arrived at some grounded snowy area and I was sure that from this point on there was no way I was facing oblivion, did I realize that I loved every minute of this hike.

The fresh air, the physical as well as the psychological challenge were overcome beautifully. Mother nature sure engraved some beautiful snapshots in my head and my phone (which I will share with you further down the blogpost).

We ended our journey having lunch catered by Bio Coara which produces organic and vegan healthy food. A soup to start with, salad, a main dish comprising rice, potatoes and the vegan type of Kafta, ending with dry cake. You can say that the whole day was perfect for a #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle Instagram blogger.

Would I go hiking again? yes, now that I know what to expect. If there is a straight walk pathway, I’d go now though 🙂

Hope you enjoy the rest of this wonderful day with these picture perfect moments.

Thank you Galeb and Hussein for this unique experience and my lovely Ranya for the beautiful much-needed company.

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ps: Thank you guys for the pictures shared (Galeb, Hussein & Rasha) and check the FB page of “IAM Production by Imad & Monah Ashkar”  by clicking on the following link https://www.facebook.com/IAMproductionlb/  and if you are interested by the vegan and bio food I mentioned earlier, click on their page and #EatHealthy https://www.facebook.com/CoaraKfarqatra/  😉

xo

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Author: Patyl-Astrid

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecile Beaton

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