25 May 2020

Hiking Trip - Nahr El Jawz - Batroun District

  • Nahr el Jawz (Walnut River) comes from the depths of the Lebanese mountains then turns southward and empties into the sea between Batroun and Hamath. The river itself comes from two springs bubbling up above Tannourine.

    The beauty of Nahr El Jawz is at its peak during spring. Grab this opportunity to witness nature in all its colors. The wild flowers are so colorful along the river bank, spreading red, purple, yellow and white sparkles all over the ground. The water at this time of year flows so vigorously that it fills the air with a loud splashing sound. You will be charmed by the trees along the river banks, above all by the walnut trees which grow in preference close to water and which have given the river their name.

    Years ago, Nahr El Jawz valley was the only possible way through which armies could reach Batroun. Most probably, our ancestors built the fortress of Msaylha situated at the center of the valley, to protect Batroun from enemy attacks.

    On February 24th, 1998, the Environment Minister listed Nahr el-Jawz as a National and Historic Heritage Site.

    The hike will be divided into two levels:
    LEVEL 4 will start from Ibrin. Then we will pass through a dense pine forest, heading to Rashkida. A descent to the river and a wonderful walk along its bank will include some adventurous passages along the border of the water canal. Afterwards, you will head to the bridge of Beksmayya. We will continue to Kaftoun then take the bus to Kfarhay.

    LEVEL 2 will be a fairly easy hike without any ascents. The trail is mostly flat. You will encounter some narrow passages along the water canal. You will start from the village of Beksmayya and head towards the river bank. It will be a beautiful walk along the bank until you reach the bridge of Beksmayya. There will be enough time for photo sessions and rest. After the hike, we will go by cars from Beksmayya to Kaftoun then Kfarhay.

    The Kaftoun monastery superbly established within the red limestone hollow cliff is in obvious contradiction with the majority of monasteries and convents in the Levant which are usually perched on top of hills or mountains. The monastery, dedicated to the mother of God, is managed by a group of about fifteen Greek-orthodox nuns, of the order of Our-Lady of Kaftoun (IX century). The monastery houses a priceless and unique double-faced Byzantine icon (1.11 meters in height and 80 centimeters in width) of hieratic style and dating from XI century. It contains inscriptions in the three languages: Arabic, Greek and Syriac.

    The hike will end in Deir Mar Youhanna Maroun in Kfarhay. It was built in the 7th century. The skull of Mar Maroun is guarded there. You will get the chance to see it. Also, in the monastery, there is a priceless museum of old books dated back to the 15th century. Besides these books, you will also see old clothing and ancient instruments.

    We will all go back by cars to Beirut.

    WHERE: Kaftoun – Baksmaya – Kfarhay
    In the region of Batroun
    60 km from Beirut
    500 m above sea level

    WHEN: Monday, May 25

    MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden. (See map on: https://www.vamos-todos.com/Pages/ParkingMap.aspx)
    There will be a breakfast stop along the way.

    PRICE: 60,000 LL per person including transport, guides and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate the registration process).

    DO NOT FORGET TO:
    • Get your own light snack that will boost your stamina and keep you energetic.
    • Equip yourself with your own water bottles a cap and sunscreen.
    • Remember to register as soon as possible to book your space. We can’t exceed a group of 15 to 20 persons maximum.
    • Distancing from each other is a must, offering or sharing snacks are not encouraged. Keep a windproof jacket in your backpack.

    WHAT TO GET: Medical face masks, Handgel, lunch, light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits, water, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Wear comfortable shoes such as hiking shoes and always keep a windproof jacket in your backpack

    SPECIAL RATES:
    - Children with the age of 10 and younger will have a discount of 20’000 LBP
    - Children/ Teenagers between the age of 11 and 18 will have a discount of 15’000 LBP
    - University students will have a discounts of 10’000 LBP provided that they present their university card
    - Groups with 5 to 9 persons, with different criteria than the above, will get a 5’000 LBP discount
    - Groups with 10 or more persons, with different criteria than the above, will get a 10’000 LBP discount

    PAYMENT TERMS:
    - Cancellation with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged half-price
    - Reservations with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged an extra 5’000 LBP
    (e.g. Cancelling or booking for a Sunday’s event on Saturday will be subject to the above terms)

    ESSENTIAL ECOTOURISTIC RULES & REGULATIONS
    - Smoking is strictly prohibited during the event
    - Always follow the guide on the designated trail
    - Do not go off road without notifying the guide
    - Do not get close to a cliff especially when the guide in charge tells you not to do so
    - Although accidents are covered by the insurance but they remain under the responsibility of the member
    - 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.

    RESERVATION: Every day from 8am till 5pm on 03-917190 or 79-115001. It is preferable to send an SMS or WhatsApp from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join.

    COLLABORATION:
    - “Sports Experts” is the exclusive sports gear and outfit sponsor of Vamos Todos. Members will get a special discount at all “Sports Experts” branches in Lebanon
    - “LIA insurance” is the exclusive insurance company sponsor of Vamos Todos.

    Regards,
    Vamos Todos
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