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More Lebanon by John Wes
Yesterday was eventful, we took a taxi up the mountain to a village called Qartaba, unloaded the bikes and rode to the Afqa grotto, a cave famous in Bible times where a good sized river pours out. The ride was hard, first descend 1500 feet on switchbacks, then as we climbed the other side of the valley the road detiorated to a foot path, we were lost. Stopped at a large house in apple orchards, they invited us in for lunch, very nice Lebanese family. They had a picture of a saint that bled holy oil, they wiped some of the holy oil from the picture and blessed us. One of the sons guided us to the correct trail and we arrived at the grotto. We had a drink under an old Roman bridge, the river was ice cold from snow melt. Ran into a French couple we knew and had another lunch, afterward they hitchhiked to town and we rode back up the mountain to Qartaba in the heat of the day. After a few km I had a flat, fixed it, Tom had a flat, his tube was ruined so we were stuck with a 4 mile walk up hill in the sun. Finally made it back to Qartaba, hired a taxi to take us home. So today is a rest day plus I'm trying to get over a minor stomach bug, bad water maybe.


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