In Tripoli, two hours later, about 5 we had tea-$2 US ea and found a very nice hotel El Koura, Rue Tall, ph,361-3326803...wonderful people convinced that the opposition is the majority and they will win the election in May! Cost for the hotel was $60 US or $12 pp again a shock to our budget...the one in Beirut was $14 pp both very nice but obove our budget!
Getting up again at 7, they serveed us a nice breakfast and we took off for Bcharre' and the Kadisha Valley where Maronite Monasteries abound and the famous Cedars of Lebanon! The took us thru Zahleh the wine center of Lebanon...a great valley of acre upon acre of old, old grapevines...beautiful thru mountains and valleys with huge tracts of orchards-oranges,pecans,cherries,etc.-
Once up on the mountain we found ourselves in a foot of new snow, the Cedars area was basically closed and the snow was quite unexpected...they said that just two days before it was summer weather...trees were blooming, roses, etc. I fear their fruit crop will not be good this year due to this storm and cold!
We headed back down with a different driver who only got out of 2 gear a couple times, travelling only 10 mph most of the way, Bon and others were VERY frustrated since we were supposed to be out of Lebanon by 4...
Once back in Tripoli we met and discussed our situation...we caught a taxi N. towards the border and Lattakia. The vote was to enter Syria again and see about the time...our driver was very fast, cost us only $6 US each. We arrived in Lattakia about 5 at the taxi station and took the next 45 minutes to decide on continuing on into Turkey!! Mari was dead set against it, Jake on the fence and so it was up to T, T, and B which made the difference. The debate was difficult because, altho the drive from Tripoli was only $6 it was to cost, did cost, $12 US to go less distance into Turkey! We did not like the idea of staying and having to exchg more $$ to pay for an O.N. in Syria as well, but now in Turkey and unable to exchg. our Lebanese $$ we may have been penny wise and pound foolish!