So, as it turns out, there was more to Wukan than I originally explored back in August. I'd previously done the whole Rustaq Loop in one day, albeit in a rush, quickly scouting the area for hot spots to bring friends. But if I'd only stepped around an extra corner in Wukan, I would have found an oasis of life.
This time however, I wasn't trying to fit so much into a day and I made that next step. For a village perched up in the heavens, overlooking a dry wadi bowl next to the mountains, Wukan certainly does pack a punch. Beyond the concrete brick housing and wrought iron gates protecting people's small patch of land, lies lush arable land and a chirpy village community. There were a couple of occasions when a villager would appear from round the corner whistling or singing in Arabic, before spotting us and toning down their tonsils! I couldn't criticise, my singing would scare off a deaf elephant.
Through the village and up into the mountainside ran a falaj, snaking across the path from one side to the other, and occasionally running right down the middle of the path. At the end of the path, the walking trails W24b and W25 begin, taking you up into the mountains and across to a neighbouring village of Hadash (a good few hours walk away). We managed a section of one of the walks, well, enough to get us to the towering mountain cliff that shrouds Wukan from Jebel Akhdar beyond. Beautiful view back over the village and Wadi Mistall below and well worth the second visit, if not a third in the future!