The Valley of Women: Wadi Mukheires

It’s kind of a grim story. Apparently, a Spanish man used the wadi as a dumping ground for the women he killed. Wadi means valley, and Mukhaires is Spanish for women. So it was named after this story. In fact, the wadi was only recently opened up for hiking, it was closed because they thought there were still some potential burial sites in there!

According to Sam. The expert on Jordanian history, geography and everything in between. Sam had the group, maybe not convinced, but definitely confused. Our guide wasn’t sure if there was a story behind the name so told us to make one up instead. Sam did a pretty good job, no?

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It was a smaller group than last week, so Sam and I and a friend from uni were driven up by one of our guides in his big old 4WD, while the others were in another car. Besides the fact that both our guides are great guys, it was good to get to chat with Jordanians after spending most of our time with foreigners at university.

The walk itself was fantastic. While classified as moderate/difficult as opposed to last week’s ‘easy’ walk, it didn’t actually involve any swimming, and none of the climbing was excessively hard either. As Sam said, this meant we could get into a nice rhythm without having to stop too much. It was a different type of enjoyment and appreciation of the wadi we were walking through. That said, we didn’t have to swim!

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Although, Sam’s bum did get a bit wet, because of course he had to try and jump across the widest part of the stream. He ended up with his feet and legs on dry land and just his bum in the water. Hilarious! And me, when I prematurely congratulated myself on jumping across a wide stretch of water by relaxing and failing to actually make it to the other side… But just wet feet!

Which may be why we decided to stand under the waterfall at the top of the hike! Powerful and cold neck and shoulder massage anyone?!

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The waterfall was really powerful!

Yes, it was cold

Wringing ourselves out

So yes, we did get soaked. But sunbaking on the rocks afterwards was a great recovery from our refreshing pummelling. The waterfall was beautiful though. There were some springs flowing out of the surrounding rocks, as well as a pile of rocks from a recent avalanche. Which was apparently covering one of our guides’ campsites from a few weeks earlier! He was properly concerned when he saw what had become of where he had slept.

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We had arrived at the waterfall ahead of time as our small group moved quickly. So we ate an early, but again, delicious lunch. Feast of fresh bread with fried tomatoes, onions, chilis, and some capsicum and sausages too. And tea, of course. With date and sesame dessert pastries. Yuuuuummo.

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We actually interrupted a lovely British couple and their guide having tea when we arrived at the waterfall. But then a group of about 30 young boys came on some sort of school trip, and played under the waterfall too. Funny to watch them pushing their teacher in, but still glad they didn’t stay for toooo long.

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Our group was great though. We brought a couple of friends from uni, one of whom brought her Jordanian boyfriend. Who is nicknamed Lemur, because he climbs and bounces around everywhere and does parkour. So while we were slipping and clambering around, he was back-flipping off rocks.

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We also had some great conversations with an American working here with the Peace Corps. This organisation runs a 2-year volunteering program for Americans, who learn the local dialect and usually teach English or work with Jordanian youths. Interesting to compare it to Australia’s Youth Ambassador Program, which isn’t nearly as long and doesn’t operate in Jordan.

Then there are our guides, who are awesome.

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And they always make the walk even more interesting

Walking like an Egyptian

Driving back along the Dead Sea was also an interesting experience. So many people were sitting picnicking along the edge of the road again. On the OTHER side of the four lane highway from the Dead Sea. So they drive an hour or so out of Amman to sit by a busy road unable to see the sea. What are we missing here? It’s so popular, surely there must be something more to it?

Really, I think it’s definitely them missing out on the beauty Jordan has to offer. Weekend trips out of Amman are definitely going to continue! We love these walks. So much so that Sam’s sweat patches form a massive love heart across his chest!

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