Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Hike!

So, now for the 'fun' part!

The hike takes place over six days.

Day 1:

After an early breakfast and detailed trip briefing, we drive south through amazing scenery, dotted with the black tents of the Bedouin, to the small village of Dana where we begin trekking. The Dana nature reserve, where the village lies, is an extraordinary wilderness through which to walk, rich in plant and wild life and spectacular landscapes. Our route takes us down a twisting track that leads eventually to the desert floor and our campsite, close to the ruins of a Byzantine church, Feinan, dating back to 4000 BC.

Distance approx. 13 km
Trek approx. 7-8 hours

Day 2:

We break camp early and head off across stony desert, with jagged mountains to the east and open desert falling westwards towards the Dead Sea. We hike around several small hills before striking out across open desert towards Wadi Barwaz, at the foot of the mountains. After lunch and a brief rest we head into the desert, gently descending, until we enter the small sand-dunes of Wadi Araba. The stillness here is colossal, and gives a true sense of the desert landscape. We camp again under clear, starry night skies.

Distance approx. 18 km
Trek approx. 8-9 hours

Day 3:

Today we trek back into the mountains and a more challenging route! After a gradual ascent across the desert to Abu Sakakin, we face a climb across small boulders and rocks to the foot of a steep and winding track. This is quite a tough section, and takes us high up into a remote, beautiful mountain region with spectacular views west into the desert. After lunch we continue up to the high saddle (720m), to rest and enjoy the view into the heart of these mountains, before our steep descent on small winding tracks to the river valley. We walk through the beautiful Sakakin canyon to our camp above the river at Ras Feid.

Distance approx. 14 km
Trek approx. 8-9 hours

Day 4:

We start with a pleasant walk back through the Sakakin canyon, before we gradually climb up into the mountains for another challenging day. This trail is used by the Bedouin people as they move with their animals from the desert to the higher and cooler regions for the summer. The track is tough with some steep climbs and rocky descents, and eventually leads up to a pass with tremendous views. From here we descend to the river valley and Shkaret Msei’d, where we make camp.

Distance approx. 18 km
Trek approx. 8-9 hours

Day 5:

Today we head inland, away from the mountains and desert, towards the ancient site of Little Petra. Our route follows an undulating track through low-lying hills and a couple of small settlements before we suddenly arrive among the simple rock-hewn temples and strange sandstone formations of Little Petra. These ruins are some of the oldest in the Middle East, dating back 9000 years. After touring the site, we continue weaving our way through the valleys to our campsite set amid the rock formations.

Distance approx. 16 km
Trek approx. 8 hours

Day 6:

Today is the culmination of our trip - the trek into the ‘lost city’ of Petra. Our route takes us first to the Monastery, an extraordinary, immense structure carved into the rock at the mountain-top. From there we weave down through a narrow canyon to the heart of the city. The huge tombs and buildings of Petra, many hewn from the rock itself, are testament to the one-time wealth of the capital of the Nabataeans. Our guided tour continues around Jebel al-Khubtha and its extraordinary rock features to Wadi Mataha, and then through the As-Siq canyon to experience the famous arrival at the Treasury, the most breathtaking of Petra’s sites. We return through the Siq to our waiting transport and the comfort of a hotel and our celebration meal.

Distance approx. 18 km
Trek approx. 8 hours

So, that's what I'm in for! Any help is greatly appreciated in getting me to my goal amount!!

Who are Macmillan Cancer Support?

Macmillan Cancer Support are a UK based charity that offer a range of support and care services to those affected by cancer. This not only includes patients but also, family, carers, healthcare professionals and communities.

Macmillan provide support services that guide patients and their families through the system supporting them every step of the way. They look after people in their homes by offering carers, covering the cost of heating bills etc and even a lift to the hospital. They provide support through their team of cancer support specialists.

Macmillan Cancer Support started 100 years ago in 1911 when Douglas Macmillan witnessed his father die of cancer. This moved him to found the 'Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer'. Douglas wanted advice and information to be provided to all people with cancer, homes for patients at low or no cost, and voluntary nurses to attend to patients in their own homes.

Over the next 100 years, Macmillan Cancer Support has evolved into one of the largest cancer support services in the UK with more than 3,500 nurses, doctors, radiographers, dietitians, occupational therapists and many other specialisms doing work for the organisation.

What's this all about...

As of today I am commandeering this blog. The regular programming of general waffle (although there hasn't been much in the past few months) will be replaced with my ongoing fundraising and training for what will probably be one of the most arduous challenges of my life so far.

Watch this space for regular updates on my efforts to raise £3,200 and train for the Macmillan Cancer Support 2011 Jordan Hike. Six days of hiking and climbing through the Jordanian desert and mountains in aid of cancer support and care in the UK.