I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.
Stage two Fuheis to Karak 5 days 149km (AVG 30pd)
|Fuheis to Karak||7||Fuheis (amman)||Kafrain||36|
|9||Wadi Zarqa||Wadi Mujib||32|
You can read about stage one and find out how I plan to get to Fuhuis here.
I’m still dithering as to where my zero day will be, but for now I’m going to assume Fuheis and not the Iraq Al-Amir women’s cooperative for this exercise. The cooperative is around 15km after Fuheis and my fantasy brewery so would break up the first day, but 15km seems to short so perhaps a stealth bivvy along the trail towards Kafrain Dam and a few km’s before Kafrain would be a better option if I need to shorten the day. The trail thankfully takes a generally downhill trajectory during this stage.
The Jordan trail website has an intriguing mention of a film-set just before the dam, a quick google finds a British film, Kajaki: The True Story, which I had never heard of before now. The official end of stage is now just past the small town of Al-Kafrain where the trail crosses a highway.
The next stage doesn’t sound like good clean enjoyable fun…..
…continue through harsh terrain, crossing the Mt Nebo road before heading generally SSW with few landmarks along the elevated Dead Sea plateau. It is a unique area with its own barren beauty with nice views to the Dead Sea and the hills in Palestine…
Harsh terrain? Few land marks? Lacks shade? physical challenge: difficult and with a general uphill trend?
There is a wild camp not long after Ayoun Al-Theeb which could be used to cut up this long 37km, although it is a dry camp so not ideal. Of interest along the route are the views of the dead sea and the area considered to be the lowest on earth, not covered in ocean. The remains of an old roman road can also bee seen in couple of sections.
The end of stage is in Wadi Zarqa, this and the next two wadis is something I’m looking forward too, although I may feel differently when I have to walk up and down the steep sides! These rivers have water all year so a great opportunity to refresh and take a break.
The next day is going to start with a mighty uphill compensated with great views of the dead sea and occasional glimpses of the roman road before descending into Wadi hidan with cool water holes which would make for a great camp or rest spot. But I plan to restock water, eat and move on to Wadi Mujib aka river of Aaron from the bible. With some luck I could be able to see some carnivores which inhabit the vegetation zones in Mujib, such as the striped hyena and the Syrian wolf. Another animal to keep an eye out for is the Nubian ibex.
The Wadis are characterized by the steep sides and I’m expecting to be cursing the mornings when I have to climb out and back to the plateau, with a full water supply. After the three wadis the trail continues on the high plateau towards Madjalain and finally Karak. The day to Madjalain will be short and sweet at only 20km so if I have fallen behind I have the possibility to catch up a bit or to visit the near by ruins. There is also the promise of a cafe in Faqua.
To Karak is around 23kms and winds through a number of villages. The sad thing is Karak was a scene of a terrorist attack late in 2016 where 13 Jordanians and 1 tourist died when the local rescue services were ambushed after a false call out. The situation was resolved quickly by government forces, but it was a shocking occurrence for Jordan which is considered a safe country and has none of the conflicts that sadly are ongoing in the region.
Karak should be known for the ancient castle which dominates the platform, built from 1140, by Pagan and Fulk the then king of Jerusalem. Looking forward to seeing these ruins, eating more local food as well as sleeping in a hotel to wash the dust of!
*gpx files available on the Jordan trail website, which has the official route details including detailed walking notes. Updated files, advice can be obtained from the fantastic trail team.
** additional notes and tracks can be downloaded from the Abraham path website
*** Map images from GPS track editor