Canyoning in Jordan
When we were looking for guides to hike with us to Petra, Jude stumbled upon a page where it mentioned canyoning in Jordan. We had no idea this was possible!
After doing some more research and checking out some of the photos posted online we knew what we wanted to do. Bjørn was easily convinced and Dorthe and Vilmer were keen on the idea too, as it meant they could have some relaxing time near the Dead Sea following our 5 days of hiking in and around Petra.
After a wonderful Wadi Musa (modern Petra town) leaving lunch with a group of ladies who look after other widowers in Petra, we briefly visited Wadi Rum for a short tour of the spectacular desert. The next morning we drove back north to our meeting point, a bridge in the middle of nowhere, in the hills above the Dead Sea. There, Islam, Yazan and Salim were waiting for us.
We quickly changed into canyoning gear. Jude was given a super-sized pair of shorts to wear over her leggings. Dress-code for females in a muslim country whilst canyoning… ?
We were given helmets, harnesses, a caribiner, figure of 8 and a set of gloves. We were ready to go and soon we were waving goodbye to Dorthe and Vilmer and we were off down the wide valley.
At first we were wondering if they were taking us down a beginner canyon, it was open and not very technical at all. It felt more like a walk. Then we encountered some bigger rocks, some short (dry) jumps and finally a little pool to swim through. Getting wet here, even without a wetsuit, was very welcoming as the sun was hot.
And then we came to a drop, a huge drop. With a waterfall. We could of course only see the top of the fall, but we were told it was an 85m drop, with about 75m of overhang. We couldn’t stop grinning 🙂
After they set up the ropes Bjørn went down first. A first 10m drop was quickly done before he disappeared over the edge for the big 85m one. Jon was second as he still doesn’t like heights, and then Jude. Spectacular! We all loved it, even Jon had a big grin on his face once he had safely landed at the bottom.
Totally on a high we continued down the, still quite wide and open, valley, until we came to our second abseil of the day. Another big one. A double abseil of 25m, before another biggie of 65m.
But first we had lunch, with a cup of tea. And dates, Jon was very happy with the delicious dates. All very civilised.
Before we knew it, Jon was heading down the first abseil to a sizable landing from where the second drop started. He was keen to ‘get it over with’, although the smile on his face at the bottom of this second waterfall suggests he did very much enjoy it…
From the second major abseil it was still a few hours of hiking before we reached the Dead Sea. We stopped by the side of the road and before we could even make a cuppa, Islam arrived with the car to pick us up.
We drove to our campsite near the start of our planned canyon for the next day, but the fun didn’t end here. Our campsite itself was also located at the bottom of a canyon, and it had some hot springs near the end. We quickly grabbed a few things and hiked into the canyon. We soon found the hot springs, but decided it would be more fun to explore the gorge before soaking. When it had become dark we found a big rock to lay on, and we gazed up into the night sky to look at the stars coming out one by one.
We spend an hour or so in the warm water, with a little fire burning next to us. A perfect way to end a perfect day you would say. But it hadn’t ended yet! We ambled back to the campsite where Yazan had prepared an amazing dinner, and whilst we were waiting for him to finish cooking Bjørn went on a hunt for fossils. He found piles of exciting stuff and was really happy.
After a delicious dinner we went to bed under the stars again, getting some rest before another day of canyoning. The drive wasn’t far, to Wadi Karak, after which the famous crusader-era Kerak Castle was named.
Today was a fun canyon, not as exciting as Wadi Himara the previous day, but still a fantastic canyon. By 2.30pm we were hopping into the car again and on our way to the Dead Sea, Dorthe and Vilmer. We swapped photos in the lobby of the hotel before we said our goodbyes. It really felt we were saying goodbye to old friends, not just a few guides from the past 2 days.
We quickly changed into bathers so we could head to the Dead Sea and see how much fun this floating business really is. It was hilarious. Nobody had told us it is difficult to actually swim! We spent an hour or so goofing around, covering ourselves with the black mud, reading a book whilst floating (well, we borrowed some French magazines as we watched some others do this and it looked like a fun photo), and generally tried to swim without getting any of the disgusting water into your mouth. It didn’t sting as much on the cuts we had as we had expected and it was definitely a very weird experience.
Jon already had to leave that night after dinner. Bjørn, Dorthe and Vilmer were off the next morning and Jude spent another day exploring Jerash (Roman ruins) and Amman (buying dates) before flying home in the evening. An amazing holiday, we can definitely recommend it.
Contact Islam from ‘Jordan Adventures’ (via Facebook) to arrange any canyoning you want to do in Jordan.