Temperature is rising, spring is dying, dust is in the air, I find myself humming
…. the back of my neck getting dirty n gritty ….
I know it’s time to start exploring new cooling spots for this summer 🙂
Located 30 km away from Madaba governorate, Hidan canyon is well- known among Jordanians as a natural water amusement park. Many visit to swim, slide, abseil, or river hike. Very few, however, venture beyond its amusements points.
Since the roads less travelled make all the difference to me, Barta waterfall within the Hidan gorge was my next destination.
I hit the road with friends on a Friday passing by Wadi Wala, the upper Hidan gorge, and Al Asmar waterfall with a 4×4. Near Ein Einizan, we parked and began descending Wadi Abu Rasim surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. There was no clear path to take so we relied on our local guide and navigation.
With some exploration and path alterations here and there, the Black basalt Canyon finally appeared.
Our next challenge was finding a path down the canyon that goes around its volcanic steep pillars. We searched for one until we finally found a safe cliff with big boulders and we scrambled down.
Heaven was waiting! A beautiful stream covered with green yellowish algae ran between the black basalt rocks, fully blooming pink oleanders contrasted the blackness of the boulders decorating the canyon, small waterfalls scattered here and there, schools of fish swimming in the stream, frogs croaking as loud as they could; a place mindless of everyone and everything.
I looked around as the columnar joints towered me and breathed hard and deep awe struck by this unbelievable beauty!
We hiked down the stream, jumping from one rock to the other, crisscrossing back and forth for access until we faced a pond. We crossed cautiously relying on our trekking poles to measure depth and holding tightly to nearby rocks. Ponds in Hidan can be treacherous, they are known for their rugged bottoms, mud sediments, hidden rock caves, whirling waters, and snakes.
As soon as we crossed, the black rocks gave way to red sandstone. We hiked further, hopping between red and black rocks until we finally reached Barta Waterfall. The waterfall ran into a very deep and steep chasm, palm trees have grown freely forming another paradise in the middle of the paradise I was already in.
It was impossible to descend without proper gear so we opted to climb up and around for a better view of the waterfall.
Right then, as I was fighting my fear of slipping down into the chasm all the way to the Dead Sea, three local boys appeared and disappeared magically. Within minutes, they went down the canyon, to the bottom of the chasm, and waved from below as I stood in my place, clutching hard on the rocks, listening to their giggles from below, bewildered, wondering how on hell they went down so easily, and positive that their genes somehow mutated through time and turned them into boy-ibex.
We couldn’t do what they did so we went back the same way we came. Started fire, had lunch and hydrated with good old tea.
We explored some caves we found along the way and a new pond that was impossible to pass without a buoyancy jacket.
Now that the temperature was dropping, the wind was picking up strength, it was time to leave. We identified an exit point and climbed out.
At the end of this 11 km hike, I looked back once on top & hummed again:
Cuz I know how am cooling this summer 😉
Writing & Photography
25. 4. 2017
Here are some more photos from this adventure:
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 and some scholarly articles. Its purpose is to entertain and everything mentioned is open for debate and correction.