After four years in Lebanon, I can finally say I truly appreciate how absolutely breathtaking this country is. After hiking in Falougha with the Footprints Nature Club this past Sunday, not only can I no longer feel my legs, but I can now say I know how clean Lebanese air smells like.

Part Mordor, part Narnia, and part Shire, the Falougha hike was 15km of pure pain and pure awesomeness. Embarking at the crack of dawn, my comrades and I arrived anxious and weary at the start of our destination. With our first steps of determination, we trekked up a mountainside so large and vast that our hopes were almost immediately dashed. How would we ever reach the peak?

Yet the bond of friendship remained strong. We persevered, climbing ever further, until our feet were cracked and bleeding. If Frodo could do it starved and dying, we surely had no excuse.

(Photo via Joey Ayoub)

Fog was creeping ever so steadily upon us, as we ventured up and up to what seemed to be no end. Yet the skies did clear even as our fingers froze, and we exchanged many a witty banter, our laughter echoing in the heavens.

(Photo via Wassim Injibar)

After what seemed like eons, we who had died awoke with a fury. For on the peak of Falougha, a decrepit and vandalized building - which appeared lore in and of itself - appeared amongst the fog and haze. The end was real.

(Photo via Joey Ayoub)

Standing on our Lebanese Olympus, we basked in our glory, breathing in the crisp clean air of victory. Smiling, cheering and crying from the beautiful pain, it was if we could hear the fates celebrating with us in a resounding chorus of hallelujahs.

We had done it. We were champions.

The Great Epic of Falougha

(Photo via Joey Ayoub)


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I want to go!

Yara Zeitoun on Nov 27, 2012 via web
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I love this and I'm so proud of you!

Camelia Harb on Nov 27, 2012 via web