My friend Meg is visiting Amman for a few days so we’ve been running around doing a few things that she didn’t have the chance to do when she was here before. We’ve made our way from Amman top to bottom and eaten our fair share of delicious snacks, from the bakery beside my old apartment to shwarma and hummas and falafel and more!
On Friday Meg, Hannah, Claire and I joined a group that was heading to a wadi (valley) a bit outside of the town of Madaba to do some hiking. We all piled into a bus bright and early with about 15 other people from around the world and were off.
This wadi is relatively unknown and the adventure tour group we went with had only been a couple of times. We parked the bus where the paved road finally gave way to a dirt track and hiked down into the desert, surrounded by brown hills (looked an awful lot like Eastern Washington in some places). We saw a dead hyena on the side of the path which was gross, but also kinda cool.
We finally got to the start of the river and found an abundance of plants and animals including crabs (big pinchers), frogs and little fish. Flowering pink bushes lined the banks of the river and ferns dripped from the shady places as we began to meander down the river.
Did I mention we got to wear super sexy helmets and life vests the entire time? Life vests! In the desert! Yeah, that totally happened. I know I was definitely at risk for drowning in the ankle deep water, but liability risks and all that jazz.
As we went along there were deeper pools and places where we could swim which felt great in the heat. And swimming, even in tennis shoes, is still awesome! Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera because I’m a dork, but hopefully I can get some pictures up here because it was pretty gorgeous.
At one point we came to a narrow waterfall which twisted and turned into a narrow canyon. We perched on some hot rocks and watched a few people rappel down before donning harnesses ourselves and scootching our way down the mossy falls. I got a couple little bruises from bashing against the sides of the waterfall in my awkwardness, but it was totally worth it!
Once at the bottom of the falls the small canyon let to a natural rock waterslide (swoosh!) and into a deep, sunny pool that reflected the red canyon walls in its turquoise waters. I quietly ditched my helmet, tennis shoes and life vest and paddled around contentedly as the rest of the group made their way down the falls. We hung out there for a bit (hello, lots of sun!) and then meandered back down the river for lunch.
Any sort of food, from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a bowl of ramen, is akin to a 5 course meal when you’ve been running around in the sun all day! We found a nice shady spot where our guides built a fire and served up some tasty prepared rice, veggies, and chicken. Then there was sage tea to wash it all down, and let me tell you- sage tea is deliciousssssss.
It was getting later in the day (sun still blazing, of course) and we exited the wadi on our way back to the bus. Errors in communication as well as a lack of cell service meant that the mythical truck that was supposed to transport us from where we were to where the bus was never actually appeared… so after a long day of rappelling and swimming, hiking and laughing, we walked back up the big hills to the bus sharing the last bit of our water bottles with people we had met just hours before (the struggle bonded us) and catching the last rays of sunshine. It was character building.
It was unexpected, it was fun, it was another day in Jordan. We woke up the next day sore and red (I put on lots of sunscreen, too! Gggrrr) but with lots of memories of a very fun adventure.
Hopefully there will be more hiking stories to come!