Wadi Mujib

We checked another item off of our Things to See and Do in Jordan list today. Technically, Jeremy had already checked it off his list way back in the beginning of June, but I decided it didn't count until I got to do it, too.

Wadi Mujib is a nature reserve very near the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea. Apparently, it is very famous for being the home of many rare species of birds. That was not our reason for visiting. We were there for the adventurous hikes and excursions, some of which require a guide and a lot of money.

The hike we did today was a guideless 2-hour out-and-back trip through a narrow riverbed set in a Siq. Basically, it was like hiking the Siq at Petra, except when it's flooded and has several waterfalls along the way. Children are not allowed on the trail (for good reason, as we found out), so although Miriam joined me for this picture at the trailhead, she spent the next couple of hours playing in a kiddie pool near the park entrance under Jeremy's supervision.

The hike starts off with a bang as you jump off the cliff you see me standing on above into the water below. Or, if you are faint of heart, there's a ladder to climb down. But actually, if you are faint of heart, you don't belong on the hike at all.

See, Jeremy had done this hike before, and told our group that it was nothing challenging. According to him, there were "a few big rocks you had to climb over." In my mind, I was picturing clambering confidently over a few boulders, among which a gentle stream of water would be trickling. I was very wrong.

We hiked against the current for quite a while and then started to encounter small waterfalls. And that was when I realized that Jeremy was either a liar, or his definition of challenging was completely different than mine.

It's not that it was impossible - it was just a lot harder than we expected. In fact, it actually would not have been possible without the presence of two strong guys in our group who, at certain points on the way, actually had to resort to bodily lifting some of us girls up and over the rocks.

The whole experience took on a slightly terrifying aspect when one of the girls was pulled into a strong current at the top of a particularly choppy waterfall, was sucked under, and then churned around like a rag doll until she somehow managed to pull herself out.

Nonetheless, we pressed on and reached the biggest waterfall of all, which marked the end of that trail. If you want to go farther than that, you're entering paid-and-reserved-guide territory.

The hike back was more fun than I expected. It's a lot easier to slide down waterfalls than to ascend them.

By the time we got back to the cliff, our shoes were completely bogged down with small pebbles and sand from walking through the stream. I told Jeremy how the hike had been a little more "intense" than he had led me to believe. He said that the water level had been higher when he went two months ago - maybe that makes it an easier hike somehow.

Now that the memory of the moments of terror we experienced is fading, I've decided I had a great time and I would love to do it again. But only if there are strong guys in the group.

ps - All of the videos here were taken two months ago when Jeremy went. I decided not to bring the camera on the hike today because I didn't want to worry about it getting wet - there are times on the hike where you are submerged almost entirely in the water, so anything fragile has to be completely waterproofed.
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