miércoles, 8 de junio de 2011

Camping in Lebanon

Last weekend, I went camping with some friends to a camping site near Amchit (I swear that’s the name of the town). We packed cooler, grill, sleeping bags and back packs and off we went. My husband, who prides himself on being an outdoor expert, was looking forward to starting the fire from scratch, grilling the marshmallows and walking around in Nature (according to him only people who grew up in a city say “Going to Nature”)…

So you can only imagine our surprise when we arrived to the camp site and saw that the first “camper” had brought a Karaoke machine with him. We stared wide eyed around us as little by little we began to understand what camping in Lebanon was actually all about. Let’s say it is more like “partying outdoors” than camping in Nature…

So amidst the highly fashionable concurrence (darn, I am underdressed, again…), perfectly sculpted bodies, the neon Ray ban glasses, the techno beat and the giant plastic swimming pools, we started the grill and opened the first Almazas (local beers) to then watch a most beautiful sunset.

Don’t get me wrong, the campsite is actually great, clean and with a fantastic view to the Mediterranean Sea. But the longer I live in Lebanon, the more I realize than any time you are outside your house it is an opportunity to see and be seen, and the concept of a laid back gathering-such as camping with friends- doesn’t mean you lose the “style”.

After talking with some local folks, there are apparently some “normal” campsites where people truly go to get away from the fast-paced urban life style. And there is a tradition of trekking (check out this post) and even a Lebanese Mountain Trail that you can do like in a month and a half. It’s just that as clueless foreigners we ended up in the campsite that had a website. And that meant, well, that we got the “fancy” experience.

PS: We complained a lot about the Karaoke guy up till like 10 o’clock. After that, I think we all joined.

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