Sunday, June 16, 2013

Canyoning in Jordan

I am just an ordinary guy who like simple sporting activities like jogging, badminton, table tennis and simple body workout. After two consecutive injuries at my calf which happened somewhere May-July 2012, I stopped almost all the activities except for the simple body workout. When my Jordanian brother Waleed invited me for a canyoning adventure in Jordan, I became so excited but I wasn't sure whether I will be able to do it or not. This was because I could not afford to bear another serious injuries and I am no longer young like those of 20s. But this could probably one of the adventures of a lifetime, so why to blow an open opportunity when you are given one? Just give 'a damn' try. Sometimes we just have to step outside our own circle in order to succeed. It's okay to fail rather than not trying at all.

May 20th, 2013 - the D-day of my first time canyoning activities which took place at Wadi al-Manshia (not far from Dead Sea). Joining me was Mr Wael from Albania, both of us were the international guests for the Jordanian canyoning activities (under Black Iris Adventures), and both of us were first timers.

We were briefed by Basheer Abdeen, Waleed's brother on the safety and canyoning gears. Basheer is a qualified canyoning instructor who will guide canyoneers at the same time motivates them. He is really a nice person and I really like him. We walked about 4 km from the main road to the canyon, under the hot sun, around 37 degrees Celsius (it's not humid like the equatorial countries, so I didn't feel that hot) - the weather was just great. English was the medium of communication here, so international canyoneers should not worry about the language barrier. The air was so breeze down the valley and canyon makes you feel like relaxing under natural air-conditioned Bali villa.

Here are some pictures of the activities. It was really an amazing adventure. I myself as a first timer couldn't believe that I have made it to the end. As the wise people always say - You won't know what you are capable of until you give it a try - It's so true.

Believe that you can do it
Congratulations! You've made it. Wael is one good example of a good adventurer, a great brother and friend
Faces of relief (after the last great challenge) : Me, Wael and Abdullah Awad (Instructor)
Mr Basheer - Black-Iris Professional

Jordan is a great place for canyoneers. The landscape is remarkable, just like the people. I definitely recommend this kind of activities if you are planning to visit Jordan in the future. I also recommend Black Iris Adventure for your canyoning experience. They are young but professional. Perfectly safe for beginners and first timers. So go go Iris!

All pictures are courtesy of Black Iris Adventures (Jordan Canyoning Team), Jordan.
[FB] Black.Iris.Adventures
Contact: Basheer Abdeen / Waleed Abdeen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Jordan Visit 2013

Jordan is a peace of land that experienced a series of clashes of ancient civilations, which left many ancient ruins across trans-Jordan on top of its class for modern people to see. I am glad that I made the trip there although I have no such great expectation at the beginning. Visiting Jordan is something I have planned for many years. My friendship to the Arabs is not new especially with the Levantines (Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian). My house in Taiping is not strange to them. I have built up trust with them since 2004 and still in contact until now. It's too expensive to let go, for that reason I made that click on May 18th this year, fly solo to Jordan.

There I visited Waleed Abdeen, my old friend of USM's 2004/2005 batch. Then I visited my new Arab friend Mostafa Barmawi, followed by other old friends like Khalid Jaber, Anas Hussein, Tareq Zeyad and Tariq Sabbah's parents. It took a total of 11 days to cover the whole visit including the historical sites and city centre.

Face of relief - resting under a tree after stopping to a nearby toilet on the way to Petra. This was my fourth time to the toilet.. broken pipe.. haha
Breathtaking view of Amman from Jabal Hussein
With Jordanian Flag on top of my head..
With Khalid Jaber (right) and Eyad Jaber (left)
Inside King Hussein Automobile Museum
Khalid's brother Eyad is so sweet and funny, I can't stop laughing
Inside the Ancient City of Petra
In front of the main entrance of the Ancient City of Petra
My best friend Anas and Osama, my travelling partners to Petra
Sunset at Umm Qais
Me... during the sunset
Village mosque behind Mostafa's farmhouse in Jerash under the blue sky. I noticed that Jordan sky is so clear and blue.. Beautiful mashaAllah!
Ancient Roman ruins of Gerasa (Jerash)
Nice and sporting Jordanian police
With Mostafa Barmawi inside Ajloun Castle
Inside the Ajloun Castle ( قلعة عجلون )
We made Arab barbecue at the farm house. Actually Mostafa did it all and me.. I just prepare the salad.. hehe
This is Mostafa's farm house where I stayed in Jerash. It situated on top of the hill with breathtaking view of the village. Simply amazing!

The Arabs are probably harsher relatively to the Malays but I have no problem with that. It is a fact that their hospitality is simply the best in the world, trust me! I never feel lonely or isolated rather I felt so much at home. This journey is to be remembered forever. Thanks Waleed Abdeen, Yusaira Sakkijha, Anas Hussein, Maram al-Kinj, Khalid Jaber, Mostafa Barmawi, Tareq Ziyad, Eiad Jaber, Mohammad Jaber, Qais Jaber, Obaida Hussein, Osama, Basheer Abdeen and the families and friends that are too many to mention, my utmost gratitude to everyone who made my visit enjoyable.