Monday, 30 November 2009

Bethany Beyond The Jordan. Wadi Mujib.

The Mujib Chalets were located across the road from the entrance to the Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve.
At 410 meters below sea level, the Mujib Nature Reserve is the lowest nature reserve on Earth. Its rugged and spectacular mountains border the Dead Sea coast and are dissected by several river-filled canyons that offer the best river and adventure hikes in Jordan. The breathtaking scenery and the challenge of negotiating Mujib’s fast-flowing rivers make the Reserve one of Jordan’s most popular natural attractions.
With a few hours to spare we decided to do one of the Self guided trails on offer in the reserve. The Siq Trail advertised as: Round trip / Time: 3-4hrs / Grade difficult / Open 1st April until 31st of October This is an easy hike into the main gorge of the Mujib River (the Siq). It starts at the visitor center near the Mujib Bridge, from where you take the cantilevered walkway over the dam and follow the course of the river between towering sandstone cliffs to the base of a large waterfall. Depending on seasonal rainfall levels, the gorge may contain pools deep enough for swimming. It's an ideal walk to take slowly and enjoy the cool water and shade, especially in the heat of the summer. Despite being relatively easy, it does have hidden risks. The river bed changes after each winter flood and this can create deep pools and strong currents. Always take care along the walk, avoid pools and rapids and respect any rope barriers.
We were advised not to take anything with us, ie cameras as they WOULD get wet. We donned the Life Jackets and set off.I made it to the second water fall, but could not get any further, the force of the water pushed me back. My companions left me and continued to the top of the waterfall.
This walk was exhilarating and well worth doing if you have an hour or two to spare on a visit to Jordan. This link has more about the trails on offer http://www.rscn.org.jo/orgsite/RSCN/HelpingNature/ProtectedAreas/MujibNatureReserve/tabid/94/Default.aspx
We dried our selves off, changed then went and took the above photos of the Siq than set off for to visit the River Jordan.
Not really a mighty river, because of the large quantities of water taken from the sources of the River Jordan ,by the countries of Israel and Jordan. The river today is a small, winding, dirty stream that makes its way to the Dead Sea. The site is called Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan. This is the site where it is most likely that John the Baptist baptised Jesus Christ.
On the other side of the river, you can see this flag.Once back at the Mujib Chalets, we had our supper and relaxed, some one was off to San Fransisco in a few hours!