Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day 9: A day of ups and downs

March 9: We had a relatively short 16 kilometer day today so returned to our usual 7:00am breakfast with an 8:00am departure. It was another beautiful day of hiking with clear, blue skies.

Eating breakfast in the morning!

Most of the day it seemed like we steadily but slowly rose in elevation, through colorful canyons. But we didn't follow the canyon bottom all day long. A few times, we'd climb out from it just to descend into another canyon which we'd follow a ways. I tried to keep visual sight of someone ahead of me as well because there were branches in the canyon and sometimes it wasn't entirely clear exactly which was the correct way to go. I knew if I really became stumped, I could always wait for the guide in the back to catch up and lead me the correct way so it was never a concern, but I didn't necessarily want to sit around waiting either.

The support crew, again, would not be able to come out and meet us during the day because there was nowhere that vehicles could access the trail until we reached camp at the end of the day, so once again I didn't bother picking up trash until after lunch.

But there really wasn't very much trash to pick up and when I reached camp, my trash bag wasn't even full.

At one point, we reached a sand dune and Karolina chose to roll down it which was popular with everyone who witnessed the event. I could tell others wanted to do the same, but nobody else did. Probably because they had packs on and didn't want to climb back up the sand dune to retrieve it. I volunteered to carry Karolina's down the dune to her so she didn't have to worry about that.

At the end of the day, ten hikers left our group. Seven of them were weekenders who had only hiked with us for the last two days and I didn't really know them very well, but three of them had been hikers who started the trail with us in Aqaba such as our resident photographer, Ali, and our new ambassador to Japan, Lina. Both of them would be returning again in a few days, but it was a little sad to see them go.

Speaking of weekends, the "weekend" in Jordan is Friday and Saturday, a fact that always confused and surprised me every time because I'd forget. So weekend hikers who joined us would arrived Thursday night or Friday morning then leave at the end of the day on Saturday. It's the weekend. For Muslims, Friday is a holy day. For Jewish people, it's Saturday. And for Christians, it's Sunday. Wouldn't it be awesome if we all come together and just celebrated a three-day weekend every week? =) Anyhow, with Jordan being a Muslim-dominated country, the weekend starts on Friday and ends on Saturday which was why all of the weekend hikers who came out were leaving today.

And thus ends another beautiful and relatively uneventful day on the Jordan Trail!

There were definitely a number of scenic sand dunes along the route!

Karolina rolls down a sand dune

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