Blog WadiMukheires 1
Hiking Wadi Mukheires

​There is a strip of road by the Dead Sea where you will find a dozen or so hotels on the water’s edge. Their entrances with the glittering golden letters sit proudly at the roadside. You couldn’t be blamed, therefore, to be looking at them when driving past. Nor for looking even further out, beyond the buildings, to the reason they’re all there – the Dead Sea. If you finally look the other way, however, to the rocks and the dust, you will see the entrances to several wadis. They are tucked away from the road, and outwardly inconspicuous, but ready for exploration!

 

Wadi Mukheires wasn’t my first wadi hike, but definitely the best!

 

​We set off from Amman bright and early, after a short briefing. It was here that I met Ayman, who was our guide for the hike, and – like me – a new Experience Jordan employee. Wadi Mukheires is located perhaps forty minutes from Amman, but soon after entering I had the impression I was in another country. The wadi was shady and cool, varying in width, with a small stream winding its way through the valley, easy to follow by the lush greenery lining its route. Reeds and rocks and ferns were sprayed across the wadi floor and they seemed to get bigger and greener the further into the wadi we hiked. The water too, became deeper and wider at points. To continue into the wadi we had to climb up several waterfalls of varying size. A couple of us definitely got an extra shower or two at various points along the way.

 

 

​Once or twice I was pretty convinced we had reached an impasse on the route. I looked around despairingly, expecting the apologies to the group, the trek back to the cars slightly sooner than expected. The next thing I knew, two of my fellow walkers had sprung up what seemed like an impossibly smooth and high boulder, and were already giving hand-ups to others. We continued like that for a couple or so hours, splashing through the blissfully cool waters, climbing over rocks, brushing through green curtains of vegetation, chatting to each other.

 

​We reached the end of the wadi when we reached the huge waterfall at the end. The splashing water echoed around the high rock walls and we had our group photograph in front of the spray, in a patch of beaming sunlight, before heading back the way we came and stopping for lunch a short way back along the stream.

 

​Ayman, who had been heroically carrying a huge tin kettle and all the food for the trip, started up a small fire and we cooked sausages and burgers on a small grill, and then boiled the kettle and drank Ayman’s special tea blend in the shade. It was a delicious stop in the early afternoon, and time to take in the beauty of our surroundings in the quiet valley.

 

​We were soon back at the entrance of the wadi by the cars, and drove back to Amman as the sun was getting lower in the sky. I arrived home tired, but wonderfully invigorated. The day had been a my much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of life in Jordan’s capital.

 

Edited by Juliane Zimmermann.

Amber (Week 3)
From Um Qais to Wadi Hidan

Amber Stowell’s 4 Week Journal (Week 3)

Amber’s third journal is chalk full with adventures throughout Jordan. Check out Amber’s third week below:

On Friday afternoon, with a group of about 10 people, I learned how to make some traditional cookies in a local woman’s home in Um Qais. We all helped in shaping what looked like mini donuts with date filling. After making at least a hundred cookies, we left to go on a short hike while they baked and dinner was being prepared. We ended up walking through a Hellenistic-Roman ruin, much like Jaresh but smaller and less well-known. We continued on a trail on the side of a large hill through almond trees, farmland and goat herds. Then we arrived at the top which offered a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee and The Jordan Valley. Our group enjoyed the view, drinking tea and eating dates while the sky grew more colorful as the sun set over the hills.

Just as the sun disappeared over the horizon, we got on our bus that conveniently met us at the top. We returned to the local woman’s house and were greeted with several platters of delicious food. We all quickly sat down on the floor cushions to enjoy our fill of rice, chicken, plenty other dishes I’m not familiar with, and of course the cookies we made earlier. This trip was relaxing compared to the others I’ve been on, and while I do love a rigorous adventure, it was nice to wind down and focus on just enjoying the view and the new people I had met.

We got back from Um Qais pretty late and I was debating on whether or not I would have the energy to go on a  early morning hike to Wadi Hidan the following day. Knowing I wouldn’t get much sleep, I decided to go anyway because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. I’m so thankful that I pushed through the early morning tiredness because this might have been my favorite trip so far this month.

Wadi Hidan was so much more than I imagined; it seemed like an oasis in the desert to me. We began a short descent into the Wadi and were soon greeted with the first of many freshwater pools. The water felt perfectly cool, not too cold, and I was so excited to swim after so many hot days spent in Jordan! We continued our hike and stopped frequently to enjoy the pools, have a splash war, or try to catch a frog.


We also got to go down a terrifying natural rock waterslide, but it was much more fun than I had initially expected. We savored the last pool as much as we could. I spent most of the time jumping from a small cliff, about a 15 foot fall into the water. Sadly we had to leave the Wadi and hike back up the valley, but by that time we were eager to eat the lunch prepared for us at the top.