My plan today was to hike a short 6 miles from Shakriya to Rum Village and get a room at the Rest House there. Since the entire way would be on a paved road, not only would it be short but it would be easy. I looked forward to sleeping on a real bed, something I haven’t done since Petra. The next day I’d walk another 6 miles to the Muhammad Mutlak Camp on the eastern fringes of Wadi Rum, the closest camp to Titen, my next destination.
I got to the entrance of Wadi Rum well before 8 a.m. It was a beautiful day and I had plenty of time. Walking on the road was kind of boring, the scenery wasn’t all that great and the Bedouins kept stopping to sell me something. They were almost as aggressive as the ones in Petra and wanted me to hire them as a guide or to board in their camp.
So I decided to take a major detour and hike around the biggest mountain range in Wadi Rum. The Lonely Planet book said it was one of the most beautiful hikes in the area. It added another 6 or 7 miles to today’s hike but so what, I had plenty of time. The only problem was I had a mere liter and a half of water. I’ve gotten by with less plus if I ran into problems I was sure there would be plenty of tourists riding around in four-wheel drive vehicles willing to give me a little water.
So off I went. The sun was still low so the colors of the sandstone mountains were at their peak. A cool breeze kept the temperature comfortable. It was the perfect day. I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures. With each turn I took it brought a new scene into view. I was feeling great.
As time went on it got hotter and hotter until it felt like the sun was going to set me on fire. On top of that the trail turned into deep, fine sand. I was sinking a good 2 inches in the sand not only making it difficult to walk but necessitating frequent stops to empty out the sand from my shoes and socks. My water reserves slowly dwindled to just a few gulps and my backup plan of flagging down a tourist jeep wasn’t going to work because there were none.
Then came a series of large sand dunes to climb over. They were another place Lonely Planet suggested visitors go to so I thought for sure I could get some water there. The place was empty, not a soul around.
After I crossed 3 sand dunes I had only a small swallow of water left. My throat was so dry I couldn’t even swallow. I was hot and dehydrated. Worry and concern began to consume me. Stopping wasn’t really an option since there was no shade.
Finally, when I was no more than 3 miles from the camp I snagged a liter of water from a tourist jeep and made it to the camp.
When I got there I drank, drank, and drank some more. I must have put well over a gallon of fluid in my body. After a late dinner I went to bed. I know I was dehydrated because even after all that fluid I didn’t have to get up once that night. I’m not sure where it all went, but it all stayed in my body throughout the night.
I need to think more carefully about impromptu detours next time.
You can find all my journal entries from hiking the Jordan Trail here: Jordan Trail