June 21, 2010

Picnic on the Ibrahim River

H, uncle W, cousin N and cousin O floating in the Ibrahim River

I spent my day in the Ibrahim River this Sunday. It is one of the few perennial rivers we have in Lebanon. Water is a bit of an issue in the entire Middle East, they even say the next war will be over water. But then again, they say all kinds of nonsense in this place. But our water situation is one thing we do not share with the rest of the Arab world; we’ve got plenty. Even though it rains decently only from November till February (that’s when 80% of the precipitation falls), the sedimentary rock type we have (karst) stores most of it, and releases it throughout the year. And so the Ibrahim River receives its water from aquifers within the Homsaya Mountains (More on that topic here).
Ibrahim River

Summer has really taken off now, which means that even the beaches right now are too hot and too busy! Best time of the year to go to the beach is May and June. Now that July is coming closer, and we get daily readings of 34 Celsius and above, complete with an almost 100% humidity, it’s time to head for the mountain rivers.
Cousin N, H, Uncle W and cousin O on the river bank

The problem is that quite a lot of people have the same idea, so you’ve got to find an empty spot on the river banks. Most Lebanese, being the convenience lovers they are, will prefer a spot accessible by car. So that eliminates 75% of the people, but you still have to compete with the remaining 25%. We were lucky today; no people in sight and very little garbage to deal with as well.
I will not share the coordinates with you on this one, as I would like to keep it for myself, but it is somewhere near Khdayre. So that’s what we did on Sunday, lounging in and near the water with the kids and family.
Every child should have a pocket knife. There's an interesting Ted Talk on this topic, called 'Gever Tulley on 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do'.

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