Friday, August 12, 2005

A not so quiet afternoon at the source of the Qadisha

 The cedars

Back in the internet cafe and they have HIS song again... sounding like a Serbian military chant crossed with Ottoman style Eurovision. Geagea Geagea (pronounced Jaa Jaa) they chant over and over again.

Well, after we left earlier, we bumped into Tony from the patisserie and he was just about to take his sister up the hill, so he offered to take us up the the Cedars, along with a French woman who was visiting, so in a flash we were in the hands of a mad man.... tooting his way through the windy streets, taking the car to the wrong side of the road whilst lighting a cigarette, Bob Marley (a nice change from Samir) blaring from the speakers, as we raced up to the cedars.

Time for the French woman to wander around the grove and for us to grab a bite to eat, before we walked down the hill to find the source of the Qadisha River, which had carved out such a magnificent valley below. A few cars and truck stopped to offer us a lift down but the snake bend road, built either by the French or the English was great, offering us superb views up and down and across... until we came to teh hoetl which marked the spot... from there it was a 600 metre track cut alongside the mountain to the grotto.

Already at the entrance it was cool, as two volunteer Marionite scouts took our 2,000 LPs each, withwater gushing out of teh side of the mountain, racing to the valley below. The grotto was amazing... a powerful surge of water from the middle of the mountains, along streams into wider pools and then along streams again, beautiful forms of stalagmites and stalagtites, as the water dripped and dribbled from the tall ceiling. The grotto continued for much longer than teher was light, it was freezing cold and wet and we had no torch so we turned back. What a great way for a river to start, albeit a very short river, but a magical one.

Back at the road, some Jordanians who recognised us from before stopped to give us a lift back down to Bcharre, giving us enough time for them to tell us all the beautiful places we shold visit there, including their home town of Jerash. We are overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people here.

At the bottom, it was time for tea and cakes with Shakira and her cousin, before Tony 1 and Tony 2 turned up. Tony 2 (the one from Australia) sporting a tattoo saying Death before Dishonour). They eventually left to bring two skinned rabbits from their recent hunting expedition to Tony 1's mother... as long as rabbits are all what are being killed these days.... and for a long time into the future.....

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciao. Mi spiace non essere con voi domani sul taxi.Pensavo gia' foste partiti quando ho letto il vostro messaggio ed avevo gia' scelto di venire a Tripoli. Peccato perche' mi manca la tranquillita' della montagna. Grazie per l'ottima serata di ieri.Buonma continuazione di viaggio. Francesco

12 August, 2005 18:28  

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