Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
CA
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > October 2018 > First steps

First steps

Follow in the wake of prophets and shepherds on the Jordan Trail – a new long-distance footpath that traverses lost cities, parched wadis and some of the wildest quarters of the Middle East

@OliSmithTravel

The trail passing rock formations in Bedouin country to the north of Petra
Photographs JUSTIN FOULKES @justinfoulkes

Wadi Dana to Wadi Feynan

THERE IS NO PART OF PLANET EARTH WORSE SUITED TO hiking than the Middle East. Setting out for a stroll one morning with a backpack and a sandwich, you are likely to run into checkpoints, barbed wire and people in uniform sternly telling you to turn around. Were Abraham to journey to Canaan in 2018, he’d have to cross two war zones and three areas where his standard travel insurance policy was invalid. Were Moses to lead the Flight from Egypt today, he’d have spent the entire Book of Exodus twiddling his thumbs in the queue as 600,000 Israelites passed through multiple high-security borders.

All of which makes the creation of the Jordan Trail something miraculous. It is a new long-distance footpath, spanning the length of the most peaceful country in the Middle East. It stretches 400 miles, from the green orchards of the north to the meeting of red sands and Red Sea in the south. It offers a rare taste of hiking in a land with an illustrious history of rambling: Old Testament prophets with crooked staffs, barefooted pilgrims on journeys to Mecca. And also Mohammed Al Homran, my softly spoken guide, who recently made history as part of the first team to walk the length of the Jordan Trail. He never leaves home without a teapot and a flute in his backpack.

'Walking is my life,' he says, skipping over the boulders of Wadi Dana in the morning sunshine. 'Some people even tell me my feet move in my sleep.'

Sporting a pair of neon-yellow trainers and a black keffiyeh, Mohammed will guide me on a 50-mile stretch of the Jordan Trail, from the mountaintop village of Dana south to the ancient city of Petra. He grew up in Madaba, a town close to Mount Nebo, from whose summit Moses sighted the Promised Land in the Book of Deuteronomy then dropped dead aged 120. Until recently, Mohammed worked as a shepherd - leading his flock among the hills by the Dead Sea, singing to them at night so they knew that they were safe. In 2016, he heard about the new Jordan Trail and applied for a job. He now considers hikers to be easier customers than goats - most of the time.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) - October 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - October 2018
$5.49
Or 549 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.83 per issue
SAVE
48%
$16.99
Or 1699 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.25 per issue
SAVE
41%
$38.99
Or 3899 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.99 per issue
SAVE
27%
$3.99
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

October 2018 Issue of Lonely Planet