Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 18 – Karak to Majdalein (14 miles)

Karak Castle

Karak Castle overlooks a massive wadi.

It was a fortunate thing that I took a mini bus into Karak from Majdalein. Last night the wind was so fierce the windows were rattling in my hotel room and I could feel the pressure differential in my ear drums when a particularly large gust of wind hit. There was no way I would have survived the night in a tent.

While hiking today, the wind was so strong it was actually pushing me around. I also got a wind burn on my face. Yet it was an easy day since I left my pack in the hotel and didn’t have to carry a heavy load. It’s amazing how much faster I can walk all day without a pack. In fact I got here in plenty of time to visit the Karak Castle.

The Karak Castle was built in AD 1142 by the Crusaders. It was built in a very strategic location sandwiched between two canyon rims 500 feet above the bottom of the wadis. On the other two sides moats were constructed to defend castle. It was also in the middle of a major trading route between Egypt and Syria. Levies were extracted from the caravans which helped Jerusalem prosper.

Due to a strategic error by the Crusader commander, Saladin’s Muslim armies took the castle in 1183.

In 1293 an earthquake was responsible for the collapse of the towers and some of the walls.

Karak Castle

Karak Castle

 

shepherd in Jordan

You can find all my journal entries from the Jordan Trail here: Jordan Trail

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

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One Response to Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 18 – Karak to Majdalein (14 miles)

  1. Hadija March 27, 2017 at 1:37 am #

    So glad you were safe from the wind in a hotel in Karak and had time to enjoy the magnificent location of the castle. I hadn’t realised how inhospitable the weather on the plateau can be until I read the grim accounts of winter conditions in “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T E Lawrence.

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