For those who don’t know, a blue moon is the second Full Moon that occurs in a single calendar month. And because it’s rare to happen – hence the say “once in a blue moon” – I was quite happy to enjoy it in the great outdoors on the last day of July this year.
We started our roadtrip from Batroun driving up to Laqlouq, with a plan to watch the sunset from one of the most beautiful spots in Laqlouq before setting our tents for the night. Parking underneath the big cross of Laqlouq, a 5-min hike up the hill of Saydet el Aren rewards you with a breathtaking view from an altitude of 2300 meters above sea level.
Known for its numerous “water reservoirs” or irrigation ponds, and seen from the hill of Saydet el Arn, Laqlouq offers a panorama like no other. Scheduling your climb 30 minutes at least before the sunset gives you time to marvel at the scenery around you, right from your spot under the cross. Enjoy the silence and the serenity and take the time to soak up the beauty of another mesmerizing sunset.
Although you will never get enough of this view no matter how many pictures you try to save of it on your phone, it’s wise to make your way down before the night falls. Many good spots are available for camping nearby; our choice was the main lake of Laqlouq (where the Ollie Daze events take place).
Besides the chance to gaze at the fascinating sight of a full moon (and a starry sky), camping underneath one spares you the need for artificial lighting. You’ll be amazed at how strong the glow of a full moon can be!
Leaving the comfort of your room to camp outdoors is not only a great way to reconnect with nature, but also a good awaking of your survival instincts. All you have is your camping gear and your hands to set your “bed”, make your own fire, and get through the night. Here, you don’t rule; nature rules and you adapt. You adapt to its simplicity, to its modesty, to its pure raw way of living and being. You respect its humbleness and you realize how humble it makes you in return and how nothing compares to that sense of genuine fulfillment.
You gather around the fire, you drink, you eat, you tell jokes and you laugh. You stare at the flames, at the moon, and then at the flames again. Sometimes it’s absolute silence and you love it. The night is beautiful but you can’t wait for the morning to come. It comes and it’s even more magical than you thought. Even if you barely slept, you’re suddenly the happiest morning person. You’re excited to wake up with nature and catch the first sunrays. Your morning view never looked better and your coffee never tasted that good.
It’s already time to pack and you’re sad to leave. You promise yourself and each other that the next camping plan is around the corner, somewhere as beautiful as the one you’re leaving behind – minus all the great images and moments you’ve already frozen in your mind.
Some basic camping gear and tips you should keep in mind:
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping tents
- A mattress to put under your sleeping bag (for more comfort)
- Water heater
- Rakweh (traditional coffee maker)
- Foldable chairs and table
- Plastic cutlery
- Fire starting material including wood (melting candles in the fire can be a great way to boost it!)
- Wine/beer opener
- Trash bags
- Tissues and wet wipes
- Apples can be a great substitute for tooth brushing!
- Potatoes and maize (the yummiest campfire food).