24th July 2019
Finally, the desert! For long time awaited and feared.
As planned, we woke up early and left at the sunrise. The colours at dawn are wonderful but even nicer has been starting to walk with some fresh. We were expected by a drop of 1.100 m, from 850 m to -250 m.
The first 5 km were on the paved road. We saw the desert landscapes getting closer with thoughts recurring in the head. At the right turn in the dirt, started the real desert. We followed the track for the 4×4, very steep but recognizable. The presence of Bedouin shepherds with their dogs and their sheep accompanied us for the first part. When we reached the end of the wadi Marukeh, it has not been easy to recognize the path. Manuel went first and found the way following the sheep poop: “Thank you Lord, because sheep make a lot of it!”.
A peculiar encounter has been with a Bedouin that shook our hands and, in his language, explained us how to reach Gerico. It seems strange but we understood each other.
The heat had started being unbearable, we drank litres of water and obviously no shadow. We went on tired.
Probably before than expected, from high we saw some vegetation. We were getting out of the desert! The walk has become easier. In short time we reached the first settlements but the way to reach Gerico was still long. We passed under the Monastery of Temptation and reached the town.
A taxi took us at Sami Hostel in the middle of the refugee camp Aqabat Jabr. In the afternoon we returned in the city centre to see Zaccheo’s sycamore, buy food and have dinner.
Tomorrow, from Gerico, the lowest town on Earth, we will start going up towards Jerusalem.
“From deep I cry to you oh Lord, Lord, listen my voice”. (Sal 130)