Wadi Rum diaries
WWTW team member, James, has joined the team out in the desert and shares his highlights from the first 2 days of the 4 day trek.
Day 1 is complete!
Our team started our day at 5.30 am having arrived in Amman at 12.30 am that morning. With rather little sleep and with a full day of trekking ahead of us, we piled into the minibus and headed down to Wadi Rum for the start of our trek.
Four hours and one or two rather sore knees later our team met our team of local guides and started the challenge! The scenery in Wadi Rum really has to be seen to be believed and our group threw themselves into the walk with gusto. We took in the famous 7 Pillars of Wisdom where Lawrence of Arabia campaigned during the Great War and finished near the famous natural stone bride 20km later.
What we hadn't banked on was the weather. It hasn't rained in Wadi Rum since January. So of course our arrival was heralded by rain and thunderstorms! Walking through sand is about 4 times as hard as over stone and wet sand even more! It was a tired and hungry group that finally got into a dark camp at 5.30.
But we're here. We made it. And we know that every step and every pound raised is helping Walking With The Wounded support every veteran that needs us during a difficult time. That's motivation enough.
20km and 1 peak later...
Having survived the overnight thunderstorms and the addition of our newest team member Simon (who heroically arrived at 4 am and then came straight out on the trek) we went out at 7 am to start the day.
Starting off at Wadi Rum's famous stone bridge those few of us who are terrified of heights got up, got across and got down in very short order! And so started the 20km...here's the thing about walking in sand. It's hard, really hard. 1km feels like 5km, the knees hurt and when the temperature rises, the water goes down and your head goes down.
There's really little to do in this situation other than getting your head down and putting one foot in front of the other. Just keep going is the thing. Getting to the next milestone, and the next, and the next. And then lunch! Once batteries had been recharged, the day was wrapped up with an ascent of Um Dami, Jordans highest peak at 1,854m with spectacular views across Wadi Rum and down to Saudi Arabia.
And a word to our guides who are providing food, water, tents and everything else we might need. They've carried our Walking With The Wounded flag with pride to every lunch stop (chickpeas, rice, pitta bread and fruit) and are always keen to take a photo, point out the easiest path and get you water whenever required (spoiler alert - every 5 minutes).
Onto tomorrow and another 20km...
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