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Tiso Hike Jordan Expedition - The route to Petra

by Mollie Hughes

Mollie Hughes is a Mountaineer, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Four days ago we left Dana on the start of the Tiso Hike Jordan expedition! Our bags were laden with everything we would need for the next two weeks in the wilds of the Jordanian Desert.

Our first day took us through the Dana national reserve an incredible valley surrounded with towering rocky peaks. We followed the valley for about 15 km to the edge of the range where the mountains stopped and the open desert began, a flat plain as far as we could see. The sun was now high above us and the temperature had soared to over 30℃. We hiked, we sought shade under trees, we hiked further.

Some of the hardest logistics to sort for this expedition have been the water drops. We arranged with a local Bedouin to drop water or meet us in a specific location in the desert each night. During the first day we ran out of water with over an hour of hiking still to go, it was still hot and we were incredibly thirsty by the time we finally found our water chap, Auder. Water is our lifeline here in the desert and the main aspects of our days revolve around it.

Day two we left behind the open desert plains and entered another mountain range to the west. These peaks are impressive, they would be a rock climbers heaven and I am sure hardly touched by western climbers. As we entered the range the only way to describe it is basically like we were in Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs. Incredible scenery all around and we didn’t see another soul all day.

Day three was by far the hardest yet. It was hot at 7am and just got hotter and hotter throughout the day, we had 24 km to hike to our camping spot and our water. The trail was hard to navigate and we kept going off course adding precious time and distance to our day. By 20 km into the day my feet were broken but we somehow managed to dig deep for the final push to reach our camp spot and our water just before sunset.

Yesterday we reached Petra! The most incredible place. This ancient city was crafted out of the rock thousands of years ago and is completely breathtaking. We have been flung back into civilization with the thousands of tourists, restaurants and hotels in the area, it feels odd after the simplicity of our desert life.

The first four days on the Jordan trail have been tough, tougher than I had even imagined. The Jordanian Desert is an unforgiving environment, it is scorchingly hot, dry and rough underfoot. My feet are blistered and bruised (Note to self! Should have got my footwear fitted at Tiso!), my body is exhausted and we have another 7 days to go.

The pain aside, we have been on the most amazing journey. Trekking through parts of Jordan hardly trodden by westerners, on every turn the views amaze and excite us, we have been wild camping each night and rising with the sun.

The Bedouin people have welcomed us warmly to their desert with constant offerings of tea and the question- do you need a guide? We often take the tea but assure them we are capable of navigating ourselves. They always laugh and say ‘but you are three women alone in the desert!?’ All meant in the nicest way, but just maybe, us succeeding here will help to adjust mind-sets.

Today we are taking a well-earned rest day to let our blisters heal and resupply before the next step of the Tiso Hike Jordan Expedition to Wadi Rum!

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