Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lebanon (!) - The Imaginary Wild West near Beirut!

I just came across this web site for "El Rancho Western Park"  -- a sort of Wild West theme park  or resort ranch near Beirut, Lebanon! It will host what it calls the first-ever rodeo in the Middle East next month -- August 17-21!
For an authentic TexMex experience, set off on a dude ranch escape at El Rancho! Located in the magnificent Ghodras Hill in Keserwan, just forty minutes away from the heart of Beirut and few kilometers up the Casino du Liban, El Rancho is the ideal place for family vacations, ranch holidays, friends reunions, weddings and birthdays, or just to get away for a Texan day or under the stars for a wild west evening meal. Meandering to reach beautiful Lebanese scenery in a western breathtaking setting, El Rancho has a great cowboy ambiance, old time saloons and plenty of cowboys and cowgirls ready to serve you at best.

Situated in the middle of the 250,000 square meters of El Rancho’s estate, bungalows, tipis, and tents are on hand to have a natural, casual stress free break or to enjoy a great weekend with your family and friends. Exquisite steaks, mega burgers, healthy barbecues and “toss your own salad” are on the menu.

El Rancho offers a myriad of activities starting with horseback riding, paintball, tennis, archery, children playground, animal feeding, vegetable picking, campfires, mountain hiking and much more. Fill your day with many activities or just relax out in the arms of nature.
 I found out about El Rancho while perusing the web site for the National Day of the Cowboy -- which this year is this coming Saturday, July 24 -- which ran the following account by "Hotshot Johnny,"  one of the cowboy performers at El Rancho:

The Wild West in the Middle East!
(By Hotshot Johnny)

Bethany here at the NDOC asked me to put some words down about my recent adventures, cowboyin' in the Middle East. So... let me give you a little news from the Perpetual Motion Ranch.

My travels have taken me all over this beautiful globe. The rock we're on is an amazing place and everywhere ya go, people love cowboys. For the last 9 months I have been performing at a ranch outside Beirut in Lebanon. Yeah, I know! Wild, huh? Lebanon is a beautiful place with great people, friendly and welcoming in every way. It is kind of party-central for the Middle East during the summer, almost doubling in size as tourists come from all over Arabia, Europe and Asia.

The ranch I work on is up in the green mountains about 40 Minutes from Beirut. As you go north from Beirut on the coast, it looks like California - beach towns and green covered mountains. El Rancho Western Park is a working ranch with horses and cattle, a resort with luxury camping and bungalows and a theme park with steak house, games and entertainment. All this rolled into over one hundred acres of mountain terrain. And it is more of a ranch than many of the ranches I've worked at in the states. Producing raw-milk cheese, quail and quail eggs, chicken eggs, doing trail rides, arena shows, rock climbing, archery, paintball, dinner shows, etc. I was hired to do a show and quickly became Entertainment Director, helping them develop the venue as a tourist attraction. Last summer we produced a popular 3 day Wild West Festival and this summer we are adding a 5 day rodeo to the festival. The Cedar Stampede will be the 1st rodeo in the Middle East, ever. For a region that has such a long and rich tradition and history with horses, this proves to be an amazing prospect.

Contrary to what you might see on the news, Lebanon is a fun place, safe and friendly. If there are any riders out there that would like to compete in a once in a lifetime rodeo experience, please get a hold of me and I'd be happy to give you more info. In fact, depending on yer skill level, we might even take care of your expenses here in Lebanon if you can get yourself here.

The Cedar Stampede Rodeo & Wild West Festival is August 18 - 22, 2010. We are inviting riders from the USA, Europe and anywhere else to come. If you can swing the travel cost we will take care of you. Come early and prep on our horses and compete in the 1st western rodeo in the Middle East!

You can learn more at and email me at I will also be performing at End of Trail if you can stop by. See ya down the trail on the Perpetual Motion Ranch folks.

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