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рядом с As Suwaydah, Mont-Liban (Lebanon)
The hike started from the dog farm in Beit Meri (must go through the farm) and descended across a thorny (had to use a machete to clear the path) path to the dried banks of Beirut river (Hike is only recommended during the dru season when the river is dry June - September). Our hike trail was the dried river path conquering small, medium, and huge boulders; most of our navigation was rock hopping. After the river we moved up a very steep slope populated with thick bushes and thorns in order to get to Haskane grotto (very steep climb and the trail is hard to find even with GPS). The grotto is a 50+ meter long cave full with stalactites and stalagmites and home to hundreds of bats (see pictures). We had to use a rope to reach the end of the grotto (need a rope with a minimum 7 meter length). while inside the cave we witnessed the formation of stalactites by drops of water. after the cave visit, we made our way back to the starting point.
The scenery was breath taking of mountains, hills, oak trees, pines trees, Lebanese maple, and others; the only thing that was a downer was the garbage scattered all over the river path coming from the illegal garbage dump of neighboring towns.
It is a difficult hike; those who wants to walk this trail make sure to have:
2- 4 liters of water (minimum)
3- hiking shoes
4- powerful headlights
6- sunscreen protection
the story of Haskane is the sad story of a husband, wife, and baby son who ran from the Ottoman soldiers (19th century) and sought refuge in the cave. The father had to smother the child (his name was Hasan) in order to stop his crying and prevent the soldiers from finding them.
The name Haskane is short for Hasan (Has) was (kan) here (e).