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Vamos Todos Hiking Program for July 2017: 

Sat 01 - Chouwen lake   hike VT
Sun 02 - Freidis Annoubine   hike VT
Sat  08 - Climbing, Rappelling, Zipline  VT
Sun 09 - Kornet Sawda   hike VT
Sat 15 - Laqlouq   Sunset hike VT
Sun 16 - Sannine Summit - hike VT
Sat 22 + 23 OR just Sun 23 - Mamlaket Lezzeb - Sp Wee VT
Sun 23 - Hadath Jebbeh Kniset Rab - hike VT
Sat 29 - Chahtoul - Sunset - hike VT
Sun 30 - Wadi Jhanam - hike VT

Sat 01 - Chouwen lake

The Shuane Lake is located on the river bank of the Ibrahim River, at the north side of Jabal Moussa Reserve. This reserve extends over a large area and offers exquisite views as well as the special flora and fauna that cover about 6,500 hectares. This lake is, by far, one of the most beautiful places in Lebanon.

As always there will be 2 levels; A hard and easy level:
Level 6 (Hard): we will start by going up a steep hill to “Ibri “village then they will proceed downwards from the other side to the Shuane Lake. The trail is composed of 10 km of steep uphill and downhill.

Level 3 (Easy): we will head out directly to the Lake where they can do a little bit of swimming and take plenty of photos. The trail will be of 4 km, quite steep but not as long as the hard level’s trail.

Both levels will meet afterwards for lunch by the lake then proceed back to the bus.

On our way back, we will see the Phoenician and Roman ruins in Ghineh including the remains of a tomb, a Roman temple and cellars as well as Adonis and Astarte Rock. One may see a massive boulder on which there is a carved bas-relief which made Renan think of the legend of Adonis who was attacked by a great wild boar. These sites are a must see as they are closely related to the history of Ibrahim River. The latter includes many more Phoenician and Roman ruins.

WHERE: Mount Lebanon, Keserwan district.650 m above sea level.
65 km from Beirut

WHEN: Saturday July 01 

MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 60.000 LBP per person including transport, guides, reserve and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with water, lunch, a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget to get your jacket. VT members get a 25% discount on sports equipment and apparel found in all branches of Maison du Ski.

RESERVATION: For reservation, call 79-115001 or 03-917190 every day between 9AM and 5 PM. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to attend.

Reminders:
1- Levels 1, 2 and 3 are easy.
2- Levels 4 and 5 are moderate.
3- Levels 6, 7 and 8 are hard.
4- Difficulty is not about how many kilometers we are hiking. It is more about the trail itself and how steep it is and how many uphill and downhill it is included.

Sun 02 - Freidis Annoubine

Qadisha, one of the deepest and most beautiful valleys in Lebanon, is indeed a world of its own. At the bottom of this wild steep-sided gorge runs the Qadisha River whose source is in the Qadisha Grotto at the foot of the Cedars.
The word Qadisha comes from a Semitic root meaning "holy" and Wadi Qadisha is the "Holy Valley." Filled with caves and rock shelters inhabited from the third millennium B.C. to the Roman period, the valley is scattered with cave chapels, hermitages and monasteries cut from rock.

The whole valley with its cave churches is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
This time, we will visit Deir Saidet Annoubine, St. Marina, Deir Mar Licha, Saidet Hawka, and Mar Aboun.

Deir Saidet Annoubine:
This is one of the oldest Monasteries in Lebanon.
The monastery was built in a rocky pit, most probably by Byzantine emperor Theodos the Great in 379 – 395. The walls of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary are decorated with mural paintings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The monastery was rehabilitated in 1990 and is now used by the Antonine Sisters who welcome pilgrims to spend the night. 

St.Marina:
The chapel of St. Marina now holds the tombs of eighteen patriarchs from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The chapel of St. Marina stands in the memory of a girl named Marina who entered Annoubine monastery disguised as a monk. (The whole story will be told during the hike).

Deir Mar Licha:
Deir Mar Licha is the birthplace of the Maronite Orders of Monks. It has a church in the cliff, and four small chapels built inside a natural cave, together with monk cells.

Saidet Hawka:
There you can see a tiny chapel in a huddle of caves and grottos with the barest remnants of fresco paintings. A Colombian hermit now resides there. We will have the chance to visit him.

The hike will be divided into three levels: Level 2 level 3-4, and level 6-7.
We already visited Annoubine Valley several times and our hikes were always moderate to difficult. This time, however, we decided to allow Level 2 to join us, to enjoy a nice walk and spend some unforgettable time in the Holy Valley of Saints.

Level 2 will start their walk at the Mar Lichaa Entrance and follow a 3 kilometers path, until they to reach the Lady of Annoubine Monastery. There, they will be allowed to have some rest and visit the location before returning to the bus either on foot, or in a shuttle specially set for that purpose.

LEVEL 3-4 will start from Hawka, visit the hermit, St. Marina, and Deir Saidet Annoubine. You will have enough time to contemplate scenery and take pictures. Then you will meet with the other groups by the river for lunch. After lunch, you will continue to Mar Licha. There will be some ascents and descents since the topography of the valley is quite steep. Be prepared!

LEVEL 6-7 will start from Freidis. An uphill trail will take you to Mar Aboun. From there you will go to the village of Annoubine, then visit St. Marina and Saidet Annoubine. Lunch will be with level 4 on the river bank. From there, you will continue together as one group to see Deir Mar Licha.

WHERE: Annoubine
In the region of Bcharreh & Ehden
1200 m above sea level.
80 Km from Beirut

WHEN: Sunday, July 02
MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 55,000 LL per person including transport, guides, and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process). 
WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with, water, lunch cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget a jacket because it gets cold in the shade. Wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes. 

RESERVATION: For reservation call 03-917190 or 79-115001 from 9 00am till 5 00pm. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sat 08 - Climbing, Rappelling, Zipline

Mountain Climbing, Rappelling, and Zipline.

Balaa is very famous for its 250 meters deep natural sink-hole that has been carved by water 160 million years ago! A magnificent waterfall can be observed during winter and spring with water vapors rising up to the surface. The importance of Baloo Baatara has spread beyond the Lebanese borders. Baloo Baatara is a natural pothole with three separate natural bridges inside it. This natural beauty is a must to see.

We are going to climb and rappel in Balou Baatara.
It is safe. All safety measures are taken: gear, ropes, equipment…etc.
Enjoy it to the utmost.
Let’s see who can make it to the top!

The place is really beautiful. You can hike around and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. 
Moreover, while waiting for your turn to climb, you can try the zipline! It’s a great feeling! Just zip down into the air….pump up your adrenaline!

After a great adventure, we will sit together and have lunch out in the open, sharing all thoughts about this exciting event.

WHERE: Balou Baatara, Chatine
70 km from Beirut
1500 m above sea level

WHEN: Saturday, July 08

MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 90 000 LL per person including transport, guides, insurance, and equipment. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with, water, lunch, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget a jacket because it gets cold in the shade. Wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes, and preferably long pants. 

RESERVATION: For reservation call 79-115001, 03-917190 between 9an & 5pm. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sun 09 - Kornet Sawda

Hike to the highest peak in Lebanon! Enjoy the view at an altitude of 3,089 m! 
No matter how hot it is in Beirut, you will need a thick jacket up there.
Kornet el Sawda is the highest peak in the Middle East. It really is worth all the effort you put to get there. The summit offers a huge panoramic view in all directions, and even Cyprus can be seen when weather conditions are especially good. 

The hike is a tough one, LEVEL 7, and about 21 km long. It is mostly uphill. The hike starts from Dahr el Adeeb. The path is bare, with no trees to shade us from the sun. It is good to take the challenge. Reaching the highest peak (3,089 m) is a worthy experience.
If you prefer an easier hike (LEVEL3& 4), there is the possibility to take a lift in a pick-up to reduce a third of the path. Then you will meet with level 7 and continue the journey. The pick-up will accompany us along the way in case of need.
We will have lunch at the peak. Get warm clothing because it will be really cold up there!

WHERE: Kornet el Sawda
120 km from Beirut 
3,089 m above sea level
WHEN: Sunday, July 09
MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.
PRICE: 40$ per person including transport, guides, insurance, and pick-up. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with lunch, water, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Get a jacket. Wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes. VT members get a 25% discount on sports equipment and apparel found in all branches of Maison du Ski.

RESERVATION: For reservation call 03-917190 or 79-115001. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sat 15 - Laqlouq Sunset

Laklouk Sunset Hike

Our next reunion will be during the most magical moment in a day and it happens to be on Saturday, July 15. 

This time we will hike up to “Saidet el Arn” in Laklouk. We will go all the way up to the top, where a big white cross stands overlooking the area. The view from up there is breathtaking at any time of the day but it is beyond imagination as the sun goes down and shows a blaze of color - oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples. You will experience in this hike a moment that will be engraved in your memory, especially with VT :) 

It will be a moderate hike, about 6 km long. Be prepared for some uphill.
There will be a dinner stop along the way. As usual, a bonfire will keep you warm while local inhabitants bake manakish on the saj, boil tea and roast potatoes. Don’t miss it. 

WHERE: Laklouk
1750 m above sea level

WHEN: Saturday, July 15

WHAT TO GET: You must wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes. Get a light jacket since it gets cold during the last hours of the day and at night. Don’t forget to get a flashlight.

MEETING PLACE: 2:00 PM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 50,000 LL per person including transport, guides, insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

RESERVATION: For reservation call 79-115001 or 03-917190 between 8 am & 5 pm It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sun 16 - Sannine Summit

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” 
Barry Finlay

Sannine is the third highest peak in Lebanon. Its highest point is 2,628 m above sea level. Mount Sannine, which has a base of limestone, is the source of many mountain springs.
The hike in Sannine will be divided into two levels. Both levels will start by visiting Mikhael Neame’s mausoleum.

From there they will go by bus to the main water source. 
LEVEL 7 will hike from the source along a steep uphill trail to reach the peak of Mount Sannine where the French room is located. This time though, we will not take the same trail we took to the top to get back.
When we get to the summit, we will take another trail to reach Kfardebian. The trail is a beautiful one, overlooking all of the Kfardebian-Faraya area. We will pass below the Mzaar summit, and beside the local shepherds of the area. Do not forget to pack a jacket, as the temperature at the summit plummets down very quickly.
LEVEL 3 & 4 will start from the source and take a moderate trail along the cliff. Views of the Bekaa and of Beirut are awesome from up there.
Both levels will meet for lunch under a huge and beautiful tree.

WHERE: Sannine
Mount Lebanon
2628 m above sea level
55 km from Beirut

WHEN: Sunday, July 16
MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.
PRICE: 50,000 LL per person including transport, guides, insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with lunch, water, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget a jacket because it gets cold in the shade. Wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes. VT members get a 25% discount on sports equipment and apparel found in all branches of Maison du Ski.

RESERVATION: For reservation call 03-917190 or 79-115001. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sat 22 + 23 OR just Sun 23 - Mamlaket Lezzeb

As for every weekend program, you have the choice between a whole weekend, or just a Sunday trip…it’s up to you.

We are going to Barka, a breathtaking region in Eastern Bekaa. One of its most prominent features is the “Kingdom of Juniper”, a project thriving with juniper trees, lying between Ras Barka and Rabeea locations. It is a totally safe place to visit, lying far from the borders, so you can rest assured and enjoy your time to the max. 
Barka, with its’ picturesque views, is suitable to visit in summertime. Not only it lies in the mountain, on a 1850 meters altitude, but it also offers mesmerizing landscapes. From there, you can see half of Lebanon, from Jabal El Sheikh, to Sannine and Kornet El Sawda, which lies only a few kilometers away.

The region comprises a great number of juniper trees, which are as important as cedar trees and provide the region with a sense of magnificence, in addition to breathless and unique beauty. 
For the weekend, we will stay in neat and well-equipped chalets that are divided in a convenient way for everyone. From each room, the breathtaking panorama will allow you to spend unforgettable moments. 

The weekend program is as follows:
On Saturday afternoon, those who want to spend the whole weekend with us will gather in the parking lot, in Jdeideh. On our way to Eastern Bekaa, we will have two stops: the first stop in Baalbek, and the second stop in Saydet Bechweit.

When we reach Barka, we will check in. The chalets are fully equipped. Each of them comprises two beds, a private washroom and hot water. In the evening, we will spend time together and have fun. Any musical instrument is welcome to spread a magical and joyful ambience. We will also all have a delicious dinner all together. After dinner, we will all go out for a nice evening walk that will last an hour. Then, those who want can go to sleep for the night. 

On Sunday morning, we will wake up in a great healthy mood, have a late breakfast at an organic farm, while waiting for the Beirut group to join us, to start the hike together.

As usual, the hike will comprise an easy, a moderate and a difficult level:
LEVEL 2 will walk for 4 KM on a flat trail among juniper trees. 
LEVEL 4 will have a longer 8 KM trail, with some uphill and downhill during the hike. 
LEVEL 6 will walk for 14 KM, following a harder and steeper track. 

Of course, all three levels will enjoy the shades of majestic junipers. 
After the hike, all levels will have lunch together. 

WHERE: Barka, Rabeea
Eastern Bekaa
1850 meters above sea level.

WHEN: Weekend July 22/23
For the weekenders, the last day for registration is Tuesday July 18

WHAT TO GET: Pack the usual overnight stuff. Don’t forget to get sunscreen, a cap, and a jacket. Pack your backpack with water and light snacks.
VT members get a 25% discount on sports equipment and apparel found in all branches of Maison du ski.

MEETING PLACE: The parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden. @ 2:00 PM on Sat. 
@ 7:30 AM on Sun. 

PRICE: 
a) For the whole weekend: USD 120 per person including transport, guides, insurance, entrance to the reserve, accommodation & three meals. 
b) For Sunday participants, the price will become 85 000 LL per person (transport, guides, insurance and lunch). 
(Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

RESERVATION: For reservation call 03-917190 or 79-115001. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name and the event you wish to join in.

Sun 23 - Hadath Jebbeh Kniset Rab

Vamos Todos will start a series of events just for the challenge lovers who are always up for adventures and hikes at hard levels! You should be fit enough and fully prepared if you would like to join such events!

We will start in Hadath el-Jebbeh, ascending towards the peak of the mountain. This is where you will get the chance to see an ancient church known by the name of the Church of the Lord. The view is panoramic from up there offering breathtaking landscapes.

The trail (Level 7) is extended on over 850 meters uphill towards the peak and the same as downhill. The trail is long (17km) but it is worth every minute of it. You should have the lunch packed with you as we are going to have a break once on the top of the mountain.

Note that we always have a stop on our way for breakfast as well as another stop on our way back to Beirut. 

WHERE: Hadath el-Jebbeh
75 km from Beirut
1500 – 2350 m above sea level

WHEN: Sunday July 23 

MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 50 000 per person including transport, guides, reserve and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).

WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with water, lunch, a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget to get your jacket. VT members get a 25% discount on sports equipment and apparel found in all branches of Maison du Ski.

RESERVATION: For reservation, call 79-115001 or 03-917190 every day between 9AM and 5 PM. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to attend.

NB: Sometimes, due to reasons beyond our control, slight modifications to the program may occur. Ecotourism rules must be followed, otherwise personal accidents will not be accounted for by the insurance.

Reminders:
1- Levels 1, 2 and 3 are easy.
2- Levels 4 and 5 are moderate.
3- Levels 6, 7 and 8 are hard.
4- Difficulty is not only about how many kilometers we are hiking. It is more about the trail itself and how steep it is and how many uphill and downhill it is included.

Sat 29 - Chahtoul - Sunset hike

Saidet el Kalaa Sunset Hike

Sunset hikes always have a special touch. Calm your nerves and forget about daily stress! 
We will start from Raachine, then we”ll visit the cedar forest in the area, then we will pass through the village of Tabrieh, then the village of Chahtoul. The last stop will be in Saidet el Kal3a where a miracle occurred there many years ago (1914). The view is breathtaking and it will be a perfect spot for a bonfire supper.

A bonfire will keep you warm while local inhabitants bake manakish on the saj, boil tea and roast potatoes and corn. Don’t miss it. 

WHERE: Saidet el Kalaa, Chahtoul
WHEN: Saturday, July 29
WHAT TO GET: You must wear hiking shoes or comfortable walking shoes.Get a jacket since it gets cold at night. Don't forget to get a flashlight.
MEETING PLACE: 3:00 PM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 70,000 LL per person including transport, guides, insurance and dinner. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).
RESERVATION: For reservation call 79-115001, 03-917190. From 8 am till 5 pm. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join in.

Sun 30 - Wadi Jhanam

Wadi Jhannam….The Valley of Hell…the name is quite frightening, but in fact, it is heaven on earth.

Wadi Jhannam is paradise. It is full of greenery, dense trees, wonderful views, and lots of water. River Mousa flows with such vigor, that you can hear it all throughout the valley. The path will be mostly by the river bank, and so you will never feel the heat of the sun.
This hike is ideal in the summer season. The trees provide lots of shade, and the river cools down the temperature.
Wadi Jhannam is in Donniyyeh district, but it is reached from Akkar. 

The hike will be divided into two levels. Both levels will start from a village called Qmamine.
Both levels will meet for lunch at a small place where two rivers meet: River Mousa and River Mishmish. It is not a restaurant, but rather sort of a villager’s cabin. Chairs and tables will be set by the river. Food will be prepared by the villagers. Lunch will be fish and accompaniments. 

LEVEL 3 (7km) will start from Qmamine and head to the river bank i  n a wonderful path that will take your breath away. It will be easy and pleasant, with lots of time to take pictures. The hike will end at the meeting point of the two rivers where both levels will have lunch.

LEVEL 6 (13km) will start from Qmamine, and make a tour around this village before heading to the river bank. The track is so beautiful that it will be imprinted in your memory forever. The hike will end at the meeting point of the two rivers where you will enjoy a delicious lunch together with level 3.

WHERE: Wadi Jhannam
Donniyyeh
125 km from Beirut
750 m above sea level

WHEN: Sunday, July 30

MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden.

PRICE: 85,000 LL per person including transport, lunch, guides, local guides and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate and speed up the registration process).
WHAT TO GET: Get some light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits. Pack your backpacks with water, lunch, a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Don’t forget to get a jacket.

RESERVATION: For reservation call 79-115001 or 03-917190 every day between 9AM and 5 PM. It is preferable to send an SMS from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to attend.

NB: Sometimes, due to reasons beyond our control, slight modifications to the program may occur. Ecotourism rules must be followed, otherwise, personal accidents will not be accounted for by the insurance.

Regards, 
Vamos Todos


 
 
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