Sunday, July 1, 2012

FOOTPRINTS | Rafting at Al-Assi River | July 1, 2012

Today I lost my keys. All of them. I lost them at the rafting club in El-Hermel, and I only realized that when I was 3 hours away, down at the National Museum. I had to leave my car there, take a cab, then a van, then walk another 20 min just to reach home. IT. WAS. THE. WORST. DAY. EVER.

Okay, not really :P

I did lose my keys, I did get so upset and angry, and I did do all the above, but despite all that, my day was BEYOND AWESOMENESS.

We, the Red Team, having the Time of our Lives | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

It is the first time I and many of the group I was with go rafting. After running into the marvelous Harley Davidson motorcycles (I know this has nothing to do with anything, but they were there, and we all took pictures of them), we wore our life jackets and helmets, we picked our rafting paddles, we were given a few (well actually a lot of) instructions and safety precautions (seemed very complicated and hard to remember at first – and foreshadowed a very dangerous journey ahead of us) and we were set to go.

The Random Harley Davidson motorcycles we ran across | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

Holding up our gear | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

Getting instructions - Learning how to duck | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

GO. Right GO. Left GO. STOP (we kept going, stopping just after getting splashed with water by our guide). GO. Left BACK. DUCK. BRIDGE. TREE. WATERFALL.

The blue Team down a small waterfall | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

The Blue Team down the final waterfall | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

The guide kept yelling at us. And a few minutes of this, we registered all the terminologies (that I already forgot by now), and followed the orders of the guide of our red raft.

We, the Red Team, after successfully following orders | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

At points the river carried us through its peaceful yet strong-drift water, permitting us to contemplate the breath-taking beauty surrounding us (interrupted by the man-made pollution dispersed here and there), and at other points we harmoniously paddled increasing our speed in the river or avoiding impact with obstacles spread along the way. (I broke that harmony many times though, getting too carried away and paddling faster or stronger than needed, forcing the guide to exert more power to correct the steering of the raft)

Ghalayini in an artistic shot, and the Yellow Team drifted by the river | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

The Blue Team making a turn | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

Mohammad, our guide, regulating the steering of our raft | Photography by Mahmoud Ghalayini

Our guide, Mohammad, is worth mentioning. He was hilarious. He threw jokes and funny comments throughout the journey. He, the river, and the marvelous experience we had made the 7-km trail, pass as if the 2-hour trip was just a few minutes long.

and we had lunch after 2 hours of rafting | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

and like usual, we had the chance to meet new people | Photography by Alaa Kabalan

Thank you Footprints Nature Club for taking us in yet another adventure, discovering the Lebanese nature, a beauty concealed from us by the daily political conflicts Lebanon encounters.

Until we reunite again in another adventure.

You can check the rest of the images in our facebook album.

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