When I arrived at Wadi Ma’in I expected it to be Shepherds Central, with their camps lining the river with sheep and goats everywhere. But when I got there I had the whole place to myself. I found the perfect camping spot on a sandbar – the first time I wasn’t sleeping on a bed of rocks. I had a nice dinner of unleavened bread, cheese, and tuna fish while I watched the sun set and the stars come out. I’ll sleep well tonight listening to the croaking frogs and bubbling river.
Two nights ago when I left Malibu I had to start off with two and a half days’ worth of food and water. The food wasn’t bad but I had 5 liters of water. When I put my pack on it was so heavy I thought I felt my vertebrae compress. Over the last two days the weight has taken a toll on me. My shoulders and back are sore along with my feet and knees. All the walking over the rocky desert has raised havoc with my feet. Today I started to develop hot spots (precursor to blisters) on the soles of my feet. I took some anti-inflammatory medicine hoping they’ll be better tomorrow.
Most of the day was spent in the rugged, remote, rocky mountains. They were barren with very little vegetation. For the most part I wasn’t even on a trail and with no map I trekked cross country with only my GPS to guide me. The only people I saw were in the shepherd camps I passed, and of course they invited me for tea.
My one and only encounter with wildlife thus far was with what look like a jackal. Now I know what the howling sound I hear each night comes from. They sound similar to coyote. I assume the reason some shepherds carry a shotgun is to protect their flocks from them.
I will be posting all my journal entries for the Jordan Trail here: Jordan Trail