Are you in pain physically or emotionally?
Do you think you are swallowing too many pills, partying, drinking, smoking, or eating to an excess?
Is your smile fading away and your laughter less genuine than it used to be?
Do you feel suffocated, stuck, or trapped?
Well, if you have any of these symptoms or ailments, worry no more because I think I know the secret potion for eternal well-being and happiness 🙂
Friday the 3rd of February, I headed to the Dead Sea Highway in Jordan with my friends. To our right, we could see the beautiful Dead Sea glittering in the sun. To the left, we passed some of the most amazing canyon entrances; Mukheiris, Zarqa – Ma’in ….
No one can really guess from the outside that pieces of heaven lie within, but I could, cuz I have already hiked them 😉
Our destination for that week was Wadi Abu Khusheiba, a 17 Km hike back and forth. I looked ahead and smiled, and from the lowest point in Earth, we started the ascent.
At the entrance, groves of palm trees greeted us along with a small cave, dripping Maiden Hair ferns, and a perennial stream. This time of the year, we usually worry about flash floods and the strength of the stream. This year, however, there was little rain so the stream was shallow and gentle.
Further ahead, we met our first waterfall, the stream afterwards picked up strength and the obstacles increased. We faced big boulders that needed a rope and team effort to bypass.
Then we met another big cave and the travertine deposits were amazing. According to my friends, it looked a lot like Jeita Grotto in Lebanon. I cannot confirm, but I can add a new destination to my bucket list 🙂
We continued the ascent, alternating between the rocks, the lukewarm stream, the waterfalls and the cliffs that were slippery at intervals, so caution was required at all times.
Then we hit the jackpot, a beautiful big pond was ahead and I was awestruck by the beauty of the scene; overlooking the Dead Sea, glittering in the sun, greenery all around, croaking frogs, and guava fields everywhere. By now, my soul was liberated and cleansed from any residue of the city.
After a short rest, we continued the hike. It did not get any easier but by now I could understand why the farmers chose this canyon to grow guava. The soil was fertile, red, and the water was there. Lacking the support of the big boulders we had before, the ground beneath us came tumbling down and I can tell you, I did a lot of dirt skating just to have my feet stuck in knee high muddy spots at the end of the cliff. Ooooooh that was so much fun to experience and to watch as others slipped and wrestled with the mud 🙂
With support from friends and tree branches, I pulled myself out and snapped some hilarious pictures saved for future blackmailing 😉
Ugly as they maybe, the drip irrigation pipes directed us to our final destination. I do understand how important agriculture is, and I do understand the importance of drip irrigation and damming in a country that is the second poorest in the world in terms of water per capita, but I couldn’t shake away the feeling that some of this water should be allowed to reach the Dead Sea that is shrinking every year.
Passing by a second and a third waterfall, we finally reached the hotsprings responsible for the waterfalls’ tepid temperature. We started fire, cooked and went relaxing in the hotspring. If you suffer from physical pains, be sure that sitting in a hot water spring followed by a cold one will heal you.
I did this as frequently as I could. Then it was time to head back. Most of the path was the same except on the way back, we went through the guava fields. What a beautiful walk that was!
The Dead Sea was waiting for us at the exit. We watched the sunset at its salty shores enjoying the beauty of it all.
To me, this is euphoria, this is therapy, this is worship, this is healing of mind, body and spirit, all at the hands of Mother Nature! This is my secret potion for happiness and well- being, I hope it works for you too.
More about Jordan’s Water Crisis:
BBC Report about the Shrinking Dead Sea:
Click here for a photo album
Writing & Photography:
PS: This blog reflects my personal opinion and my personal take on many issues. Its not a scientific paper, the information used is based on internet searches rather than scholarly articles. Its purpose is to entertain and everything mentioned is open for debate and correction.