Trekking through the lowest nature reserve in the world turned out to be our most thrilling day during our time Jordan. The Wadi Mujib gorge houses some of the most spectacular cliffs we have ever witnessed and we were going to hike, swim, slide and abseil right down the centre of them all.
Operated by The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, (RSCN) A project that promotes the biodiversity of Jordan, this trek is eco tourism at it’s best. You can book your trek at the office right off the main highway between Aqaba and the Dead Sea resort area, and this is where our day began.
Our adventure started at the crack of dawn when our driver Mahmoud picked us up from our Dead Sea Resort just 30 minutes away from Wadi Mujib. We were excited to be tackling the Canyon Trail today; The most thrilling trek of all the Wadi Mujib treks.
We were a little intimidated when we met the rest of the group for our day on the water. They were decked out with wet suits and aqua socks while carrying full sized dry bags filled with harnesses and climbing ropes.
We were armed with our Olympus Waterproof camera and wore our quick drying trekking clothes to protect us from the rushing waters ahead. Throw in a couple of water bottles tucked into our zip off daypacks and that was the extent of our gear for the 4 hour hike ahead. We felt moderately prepared if a little underdressed.
We were a little worried for our guide Ali though. He had been with us for the entire 10 days of our trip through Jordan taking care of our lodging and meals to organizing our tours and activities. He doesn’t swim and this was a trip that was taking us through waterfalls and fast moving water. He didn’t blink an eye when we read disclaimer stating that you must be able to swim to go on the canyon trek. He donned his lifejacket and said everything would be ok.
The start of the trip was a tough hike up an easy trail desert heat. The hill was steep yet manageable, but the sun was intense. It was already high and there wasn’t a breeze to be found in the air. Our canyon guide assured us that within an hour we’d be feeling cool and comfortable.
We descended into the gorge and came across the entrance of our canyon trail. As the rest of the group changed into their full wetsuits and helmets, Dave and I stood talking with our guides. They were both going through in shorts and a t-shirt so we felt better.
The water felt cool stepped into the river and we instantly forgot the heat of the hour long hike to the entrance of the trail. Within minutes we were walking through the water carefully maneuvering our way through the rocky bottom.
We climbed over rocks and slipped down natural waterslides of smooth rocks. We held on to ropes as we passed through some mild rapids and jumped into pools of calm water at the bottom of rocky dams. We never knew what to expect but simply listened to our trusty guide. When he told us to jump, we jumped. When he told us to slide we slid and I am so glad we did.
It turned out that our travel companions were very experienced canyoneers and had spent the last 10 days traveling through Jordan just to walk through its canyons and abseil into waterfalls. This was near the end of their Jordan trip and they decided to take a guided trip. They were old hats at this stuff but seemed to be enjoying the trip almost as much as we were.
They told us that there were plenty of gorges to be explored in Jordan and we made a mental note to come back and check them out while making the Feynan Eco-Lodge our home base for these type of excursions.
We Listened and whooped it up through the entire trip.
The finale of the day came when we had the chance to abseil over a waterfall. We missed the opportunity in Fiji and in New Zealand, River Surfing was high on our list, but we didn’t have the opportunity there as well. What we love about travel is that there is always another chance to fulfill your dreams and check an item off the bucket list.
I have wanted to abseil over a waterfall since watching the Eco-Challenge Fiji way back in 2003. Now we finally got the chance.
I decided to go first so that I could capture some photos of Dave and Ali. I have abseiled quite a bit, but I won’t lie. I was a little nervous being lowered over a waterfall into a pool of rushing water below. I don’t know what I was thinking volunteering to jump over first. I didn’t mind the drop, it was the pool below. When I got to the water, I swam to a set of rocks under the waterfall and scrambled to the top of them to take off my harness and send it back up. I didn’t even think of standing up in the pool and felt foolish when Ali came down after me and stood up once he hit bottom.
Dave jumped over the cliff next followed by our group of canyoning enthusiasts from Germany. We had reached the peak of our trip and it was all a leisurely stroll back to the office.
It is a day trip that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Jordan. So when you find yourself at the Dead Sea, make sure to grab a taxi and make your way out to Wadi Mujib. It is the most unique adventure in the country and an excellent break from the tours through ancient ruins and historical sights. Many people think that this is all there is to do in Jordan, but you will find that there is so much more to this diverse and interesting country in the heart of the Middle East.