Earlier this Saturday before Palms day I had the pleasure be one of thirteen companions in a hiking adventure that took us to the heights of Batroun towards Assia, Bechealeh & ending with Douma. Our guides were more like friends and not just professional tour operators. Our trip was full of fun, the taste of Batroun & acquaintances hopefully they become friends.
Our first stop would be at one of the houses of Assia in Batroun, where you will find one of the sweetest & generous hosts Madame Sana Jabbour with her, with great knowledge of how to prepare ancient pottery for her vast products of “Mouneh” which means preserving food for Lebanese pantry.
After a brief yet informative initiation of this old & healthy craft, she learned from her mother, she and her family prepare an authentic Lebanese breakfast composed of Mankish (Lebanese Pastry) of Zaatar( thyme), Cheese, Keshek ( combination of bulgur & milk either goat or cow).
After filling the bellies we were to start on this tour which for me as the first-time hiker seemed more like a heavy workload and not your fun weekend activity, but with the help of our two guides & their humorous nature, it was an enriching & exciting experience. With Pia Abboud (Founder of Discovery Beyond Borders) & her smile and asking us to do the same she definitely knows how to make everyone enjoy their time. And with Elias Boulos ( her partner at DBB) apart from the fact that at the first few minutes from the hiking trail almost every moment I needed his help and offered without hesitation. The atmosphere among the group was amazing, you would never feel like the odd person out as everyone is engaging and mingling. The four hours it took us to reach our destination felt like minutes that some of us loved would not finish but the distance crossed and the hours it took would leave anyone hungry for the taste of Douma especially if it’s a well-prepared three-course duck meal from the salad with walnuts & smoked duck meat, the appetizer that marinated duck meat with vegetables with sweet & sour flavour keeps you wanting more & the duck leg cooked perfectly with potato garlic on the side & finishing off with the famous Douma’s Rahat Al Halkoum ( known as Turkish Delight).
This amazing experience for me personally as someone who never in his life did which I consider in my book not extreme but somehow a difficult activity and I was able to do it with the help of lovely companions & guidance of a newly established tour operator goes under the name of “Discovery Beyond Borders” composed of Ms Pia Abboud & Mr Elias Boulos is for me when am in a mood for an adventure first people I would contact is them, it’s a no brainer for me as they offer all the help, excitement & ultimate professionalism anyone would like to experience. Hopefully in the future & after exploring with them some uncharted areas of Lebanon to see them evolve and go with them even abroad & to exotic countries.