An explorer at heart. Based in Lebanon. Teddy Habchy. Follow him on Instagram here
Here is his diary
It’s simple, quiet and generous. These are some of the reasons that pushed me to dig more it Lebanon’s nature. Why Lebanon? I am Lebanese; I was born and raised in this small Mediterranean heaven. Our nature is well known for its diversity; you can simply realize that by going from the beautiful coast to the snow-covered mountains or to the green fields of Bekaa, from the North to the South, from seasons that each has its own blessings. Another interesting fact is the impact of this diversity on people’s life style, culture, work and attitude. It s always fun and heart-warming to revisit your own country in a new context and narrower approach once you get rid of the expensive local fuel and you ride your bike and backpack.
Stayed in Guest Houses
Most of the times I used to stay in guesthouses or sometimes in camps. In case none of these were available, my 2×1.5m tent was the best solution. Below are some venues where I really enjoyed my stay, especially that these guest houses make you feel at home and you get to know a lot about the area from the owners of the houses: Al Qontar guest house – Mtein (you do not want to miss the great breakfast by Mrs.Najibe), Auberge St. Michel – in Maaser El Shouf, La Maison De La Foret – in Bkassine, Pine Land guest house – in Bkassine (make sure you take a sip from the Bkassine special tea mixed with honey and pine nuts) and La Reserve – in Afqa.
Month It is mostly ideal to visit Lebanon’s nature when the weather is moderate, during period between mid-March till mid-September.
A good timing can also be on certain cultural occasions when villagers embrace back their enriching traditions and rituals, or when big storms are expected, so that you can experience the rough nature and the additional layer of fog that adds up to the scenery.
In your suitcase
Below are some of the things I never go without:
- E-trex 30 GPS
- Extra tubes
- Bike maintenance tools (mini pump, patches, tire lever, Allen key)
- Helmet and sunglasses
- Sleeping bag
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Warm clothes
- My favorite mix of dates with peanuts, and some dry fruits.
Diary I used to get up very early in the morning, to not miss out on the beautiful sunrises. Most of my days would be spent on outdoor activities, biking, hiking, snowshoeing and photographing it all! Enjoy the fire camps at night with some new people and make good laughs. Remember, make your bedtime the shorter as can be, and go out and enjoy Lebanese cuisine and nature.
Al Qontar Guesthouse in Mtein – you do not want to miss the yummy breakfast by Mrs. Najibe!
Auberge St. Michel in Maasser El Shouf – a strategic place to stay at when you plan to visit Maasser El Shouf Reserve. Other discoverers will be there to share with you the room and their adventures!
La Maison De La Foret in Bkassine – a heaven on earth! Facing the waterfalls of Jezzine, it is the biggest pine forest in the Middle East: close your eyes and smell the fresh pine scent!
Pine Land Guesthouse in Bkassine – make sure you take a sip from the Bkassine special tea mixed with honey and pine nuts, that Mrs. Jocelyne prepares passionately, while you promenade between the old houses of Bkassine.
La Reserve in Afqa – known for the Greek myth of Adonis, Afqa is a rich destination where you can visit the Afqa grotto, the source of the Nahr Ibrahim River. Your journey shouldn’t end without packing a huge basket of red and delicious apples.
– Always expect that you will be invited to play cards so make sure you have good card skills.
– Older people are always fun, they have a lot of fascination stories so you better be a good listener.
– Never reject an invitation for a cup of tea or coffee.
– Go with a bit of knowledge of the destination culture, and be ready to explore the rest on spot
Mode of Travel Nearly all airlines take you to Lebanon. Plus many budget airlines.