*Note that Wadi Wurrayah has since closed to the public to allow the environment and wildlife to recover. The closure is meant to be only temporary, but as of early 2015 is still closed. If you’re keen to visit, do some research to see if it has reopened before attempting the trip (and update me if you find it’s reopened!).
Thanks to the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), this past weekend was a much appreciated 3-day holiday weekend.
And as the weather this time of year is gorgeous – comfortably hot days with lovely clouds and a nice breeze and best of all – no humidity (people are often surprised to hear that it’s actually very humid here in the summer; Dubai’s climate is both arid and sub-tropical depending on the time of year). In other words, the perfect weather to spend the day exploring the UAE’s nature.
A bit of researching uncovered a wadi – Wadi Wurrayah – and natural waterfall (UAE’s only, apparently) in Fujairah, one of our fave bits of the UAE. Situated on the Indian Ocean (fabulous snorkeling here) with the Hajar Mountains just off the coast, Fujairah and its landscape are really gorgeous. If it wasn’t for the annoying 1.5-2 hour drive away from Dubai, I’d honestly live in Fujairah and commute to work in Dubai. But too far, it’s not an option, have to put that idea out of my mind.
Sounding lovely and shamed we hadn’t heard of Wadi Wurrayah earlier, we set off after breakfast. It was pretty easy to get to, basically just outside of Khor Fakkan, with the road leading to the wadi being located right on the Fujairah/Sharjah border. And being that I’ve got no sense or understanding of direction, that’s about all you’re going to get from me as far as the location goes.
Shortly the road ends if you’re not in a good 4×4 and you’ll find yourself atop the Wadi Wurrayah with a short climb down the side into the dried up riverbed. In no time you’ll find yourself at the waterfall and pool; you’ll know because the area is littered with garbage, graffiti and ignorant, careless assholes.
You can hang out here, or you can keep on walking down the riverbed to get away from the jagoffs trashing up the joint. Luckily, most people were too lazy to go beyond the waterfall.
I wasn’t even expecting to find much beyond the waterfall, we just wanted to walk and spend a day outside in peace. After a short bit, some little pools of water and plants started popping up, much to our surprise. I was delighted and this was more than I was counting on in some dry craggy mountains in a desert.
A bit more walking and the riverbed began to thin and wind somewhat drastically (initially very wide, now not even a small car could fit through it) and a small trickle of stream ran through it. I even saw a little frog, I was sooooo pleased!
Suddenly, the gorge thinned even more and the entire pass dipped into a pristine pool of water.
Walking through the pool, the other end of the pass opened up to a healthy run of water, greenery and dragonflies.
As you follow the riverbed and water further and further you come across more crystal clear little pools (some with little fish), small waterfalls and beautiful rock formations.
We continued on and on, and it got to the point that most of the walk at this point was through streams and pools and up little waterfalls.
Eventually a point was reached where we couldn’t really go any further because the waterfalls were getting a bit too steep, and there was too much water and we did not come out there expecting this sort of wet terrain at all!
Shoes and expensive camera equipment prevented us from continuing on.
We had lunch at a lovely (very cold) pool and then headed back.
This is such an amazing location, I hope to go back as soon as possible, and be prepared to go even further up the wadi. We saw another small group of people right around where we turned back who told us that if we were prepared to get soaked and swim some, about 2 kilometers up were some really nice, big pools to relax at. Tempting! And the side bonus is that it’s difficult to get to so you probably won’t find yourself annoyed by large groups of people leaving their garbage everywhere and being loud and aggravating. Even if you only go as far as we did (which was just a slightly strenuous walk), it’s still incredibly peaceful and beautiful. Thank goodness for a lazy and in-adventurous population!
Nice-looking moon last night, too.