What To Prepare
It’s worth noting this is quite an adventurous route and requires some trekking experience, as well as being well-prepared and some common sense. You’ll be walking across Jordan’s rugged desert terrain with no guidance, roasted by the midday sun with only the continuous view of the ever enlarging Dead Sea as your guide. Be aware that you could be walking anywhere between 4 and 6 hours so you should be quite fit and happy to walk in the sun all day.
You’ll need to run out and grab some supplies before you leave, all our supplies and water cost just £/JD 3.50. We use water purifying tabs to clean the local water, it’s cheaper and reduces our use of plastic.
Firstly, download Maps.Me.
Ensure Jordan has been downloaded. Mark the following points ‘Mukawir’ ‘memorial for John the Baptist’ and ‘Herodus Spring’ (coordinates: 31°35′50.1″N 35°33′34.86″E).
Water - prepare 2 litres per person
Food - Jordanian bakeries are perfect for cheap goods, we bought flat breads and sweet foods. We picked up hummus, crisps and fruit from a local shop.
- Sun cream - high SPF, we had 50.
- Walking boots
- Clothing - that will protect you from the sun, so long sleeved tops and trousers, buff for your neck
- Walking poles (optional but useful)
- Swimming trunks
- Light towel
How To Start The Trek
This trek is best started from the busy city of Madaba, and 27km south of there at the top of a mountain is a village called Mukawir. The day rate for a taxi is £/JD 40 but you can avoid paying that much by getting a one way Uber to Mukawir for around £/ JD 8. The Fortress of Machaerus is a local attraction and it’s also the treks starting point, luckily Uber will automatically set this as the destination as the site itself is quite popular. The journey takes around 30 - 40 mins. We arrived just after 9am.
The Fortress Of Machaerus
The fortress is worth visiting before you start the trek, especially if you have an interest in biblical references. It was a battlement used for spotting invasions and may have been the place where John the Baptist was beheaded! Duelling factions eventually destroyed the fortress, whose crumbling remains are still visible now.