Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 40 – Titen to Aqaba  (17 miles)

At the Red Sea

I was there, but too exhausted to walk across the beach and touch the Red Sea.

After a very comfortable and restful night I felt considerably better in the morning. With the prospects of finishing the Jordan Trail today I was motivated enough to be on the trail at dawn.

Today’s hike was long, difficult, and broiling hot. It started out with a good morning climb over a trail-less mountain of loose rocks. Navigation was made difficult since I had to focus not on the GPS but on my footing. Three times I struggled up to a ridge I thought was the top only to find I had to climb up to another one. Fortunately it was somewhat cool.

When I finally crossed the first mountain the sun was out and it was hot. After hiking the next 4 miles over rocky terrain, there was yet another mountain to cross. This one was equally as hard as the first one but there was no shade whatsoever.

Shortly after that there was another mountain and, as it turned out, it was a last mountain I’d have to cross. The heat was zapping my energy as I made my way to the top.  I used up all my good water and now had to drink the plastic tasting tank water which by now was almost hot enough to make tea with.

After struggling to the top I looked down at the Red Sea. Yay!! It’s all downhill from here.

It was a downhill from hell. There was scree and steep downhill for the next couple of miles. I inched my way down, slipping and falling on all the loose rock. I used my hands to grab onto big rocks when they were available. All the while the broiling sun was in my face and I was running very low on water with no prospect of refills until Aqaba.

After I made it down it was somewhat easy hiking to the Red Sea, but I was so exhausted and dehydrated I was walking almost at a snail’s pace. I did finally make it to the Red Sea but by the time I got there I had zero energy to walk across the beach and touch the water.

The hotel prices were astronomical so when a taxi driver offered to take me the 6 miles to Aqaba city for a couple of dollars I accepted and found a very nice and expensive hotel. I bought 3 liters of water and lay on my bed in a comatose state and drank water. Thinking back, I don’t remember peeing since the Mohammad Mutlak Camp. I have a feeling I was dangerously dehydrated.

Jordan desert near Aqaba

One of the three mountains I had to climb – brutal ascents, followed by brutal descents.

 

First glimpse of Red Sea

After I climbed the third mountain, I got my first glimpse of the Red Sea. My hopes for an easy walk to the water didn’t pan out.

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

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

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2 Responses to Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 40 – Titen to Aqaba  (17 miles)

  1. plam April 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    I greatly enjoyed reading your updates! Glad the trek went well. Is a part of the world I’d like to see more of.

  2. Hadija April 26, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    So sorry you had such a hard final day but you made it to the Red Sea in spite of all your difficulties! It is hard to keep rehydrated when walking in the heat, even when drinking a salt and sugar water mix. I definitely appreciated my trekking poles on that loose rocks downhill.

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