On our drive south, we come across several villages and through the mountainous landscapes of Socotra. In one, we see a beautiful chameleon, which is willing to pose for pictures. Amazing to see how he indeed changes colours according to the clothes of the person on whose shoulder he sits. A little further south, we park. We walk to the ridge of a canyon. We are surrounded by the quirky bottle trees. Every single one of them is different, and their shapes are baffling. Many have cute little pink and white flowers. From the edge of the canyon, we have a sweeping look over the valley below and the turquoise waters of the sea at the south of Socotra. We continue our way down on a dirt track, and hike down into the canyon below. An easy hike takes us to the bottom of Kallissan canyon, where we find natural pools and small rapids.
Watching the first people to cross slide on the slippery rocks (one of them disappears with all his camera gear in the transparent water) tells me to be cautious. I pack up everything in my bag, and take the longer route through the cold water. Once on the other side, we walk further into the canyon of Kallissan, passing several more pools. Then, it is time to enjoy this environment to the fullest. I first walk along the edge of the white rocks, peeking down into the green water. Seeing small rapids, more natural pools, and looking ahead, also seeing small waterfalls. I see several others jump off the rocks. It is time to leave my bag, and jump. I directly go to the highest of them all, and jump some 8 metres into the refreshing water of the biggest of the natural pools. Swim down the pool, go back, and jump off the slightly higher rock. Ah, the sensation of hitting the water and causing a big splash!
After the higher jumps, it is time to go down and try the lower ones as well. And swim, swim, swim. I walk up to another rock, clamber down, and swim a little bit, with my camera in hand, to take pictures of small cascades. Then, it is time for lunch in one of the caves offering a natural protection against the sun. After which we are back at diving, swimming, and exploring. This is just the perfect place to enjoy some of the natural wonders of Socotra, and what is even more surprising is that we have the place all to ourselves. Until, that is, some shepherds walk by - for them, this is their natural environment. How would they ever understand that this is a heavenly place? After hours of enjoying Kallissan, it is time to hike out of the canyon again, leave this gorgeous gorge behind, and move on to explore more of Socotra.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Kallissan (Yemen). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Kallissan. Read more about this site.