The Last Stretch: Hasbaya to Marjeyoun
Members of the youth organization SOIL (Save Our Inherited Land) gave us a very warm welcome last night in Hasbaya. They manage the LMT guest house here, and do it with great enthusiasm and energy.
A brief walk through the streets of Hasbaya lead us out into the fields and terraced olive groves. We skirted the heavily wooded oak forest of Hasbaya through shoulder high grass, flowers and thistle. There was an abundance of thick trunked olive trees. Many over 1000 yrs. old.
In the town of Ibl El Saqi we met a contingent of French UNIFIL forces.
They were very interested in what we were doing and asked many questions about the LMT. Just outside of town we passed by the ruins of a caravanserai that used to be on the ancient trade routes.
We had to take the bus a short portion of the last few km due to security reasons. We all seemed to have a sudden burst of energy hiking up the hill to Marjeyoun. The closer we got the more press and camera men appeared. Suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the town square surrounded by cheers and cameras. It then dawned on us… we had hiked the entire 440 km from north to south!! We gave each other misty eyed hugs and moved on to the municipality where several officials presided over the press conference.
I will posting more pictures in the coming days and weeks from the trip as well as some excerpts from the books. If you would like to be on our emailing list to get updates about the progress of the book, contact us here.
Marjeyoun is right next to the border.
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