Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|22 April - 29 April 2023||On Sale|
Escape to the Jordan Desert on this life-changing challenge for people affected by mental health problems.
Trekking from the Dead Sea to the hidden city of Petra, we'll tackle a myriad of terrains, discover the secrets of this ancient land and see more shooting stars than you thought was possible.
By day, our Bedouin guides will lead us along ancient trails through towering valleys, past waterfalls, across vast, barren expanses and even to the top of the Black Mountains. We’ll immerse ourselves in the local culture and legends of this unspoiled landscape, a world apart from everyday life.
By night, we’ll rest in Bedouin camps and choose to sleep in tents or under a sky unspoiled by light pollution.
Hiking from one iconic World Heritage Site to another, we'll end our adventure with a day exploring Petra, the famous ancient city carved into the desert mountains.
The challenge may be tough, but the incredible panoramas are more than worth the workout, not to mention the cause!
Walk With Me
Walk With Me aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and to raise vital funds for the amazing mental health charities and services across the UK that are here for us whenever we need support.
Walk With Me also aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health to ensure that no one ever feels afraid to talk about their well-being and to seek support if they need it; whether that's to speak to friends or family or to make the most of the fantastic charities and services available.
Our adventure begins at the airport in London, to catch our flight together to Amman, the capital of Jordan and perhaps one of the most modernised Arab cities.
Our local challenge leader greets us upon our arrival and a short coach transfer later, we check in to our hotel by the shores of the Dead Sea.
You may have heard of the Dead Sea’s amazing skin-healing properties due to its high concentration of precious natural minerals; but did you know that it isn’t a sea at all, but a massive salt lake, nearly ten times as salty as the ocean? It’s also the lowest place on our planet, at 410m below sea level and fast receding, due to climate change.
We wake today for a free morning at the Dead Sea, which gives us a perfect chance to check out how salty it actually is!
The lake is said to have 300% more magnesium, calcium, sodium, bromide and potassium than all the oceans and seas on Earth and it’s very difficult to swim in it – you’ll find your whole body will just float on top.
In the afternoon, we enjoy a beautiful coach transfer along the shore of the Dead Sea, past waterfalls and canyons, until we reach our start at Wadi Araba.
This ancient valley connects the Dead Sea with the Red Sea and from here, we ease ourselves into the challenge with a gentle trek and feel the vastness of the land for the first time.
Passing a number of Bedouin camps, we hike on, until we reach our own camp in Feynan, close to the biblical Feynan copper mines, in the heart of the desert valley.
Warmed up from yesterday, our challenge hikes up today, as we enter the desert’s Black Mountains.
From our camp at 200m in the low-lying valley floor, we climb to Faron, which sits in the mountains at 1,350m!
Following ancient canyon trails, we cross a range of rock formations and venture through wild Bedouin country, with a few glimpses over the Wadi Araba border area.
We reach our half-way point at the ancient Roman copper smelting site of Umm el Amad. From here, we step into a jaw-dropping landscape of white sandstone domes, dotted with patches of Juniper trees, the last sign of the ancient Juniper forests that once covered the area.
Climbing higher through the mountains, we gain more insight into the Bedouin lifestyle, passing several camps and finally stopping for the night when we reach our own camp at Faron.
Our third day walking keeps us on higher ground and the terrain changes, as we follow donkey trails through vast and rugged land, barren but beautiful.
Along the way, we catch glimpses of the Crusader fortress at Shaubak towering over the desert.
We finish our long day's trek at Um Ellada and rest once again, beneath a mind-blowing canvas of stars, unspoiled by light pollution.
Trekking across highland desert, our first few hours takes us to Little Petra (aka Beidah), an awesome archaeological site, believed to have once been a fortified roadside resting place of the Nabataean capital.
Little Petra gives us a great feel for what awaits us in Petra. As we trek into the hidden valley, we’re treated to amazing views of white sandstone domes and an archaeological wonderland.
We trek along the awesome sandstone rocks in the afternoon and end our day at Moseera, for a final night camping in the desert.
Rise and shine to our last day of walking!
Today, we enter the World Heritage Site of Petra. This ancient, hidden city is one of the Seven Wonders of the World - and so it should be!
We use the eastern approach to enter, close to the ancient monastery, a fascinating monument, carved from one massive rock.
This ridge gives us unbeatable views of the valleys beneath – plus we’re using a quieter entrance, avoiding the crowds.
We now have the brilliant opportunity to explore the site and visit Petra’s historic landmarks, taking in the ancient monastery, treasury and library.
Rejuvenated from our walking tour, we leave Petra through the famous 1,200m-long canyon, a crack in the towering cliff, and trek our last stretch to our finishing point in the town of Wadi Musa.
Our last day in Jordan is free for you to enjoy as we wish, revisiting the enchanting city of Petra or jumping on our awesome optional excursion to Wadi Rum for an additional cost.
This will give you a chance to see the world-famous sandstone mountains, described as “The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom” by Lawrence of Arabia and enjoy a fascinating 2-hour guided tour of the area.* We'll send you the full details, including the price, and how to book, closer to the challenge.
In the evening, we reunite as a group and celebrate with a delicious last meal together at a local restaurant.
Day 8 sees us transferring by coach to the airport, where we catch our flight back to the UK. Here, we part ways for home.
*A note for those of you opting for the Wadi Rum tour:
The Wadi Rum tours are run by Bedouin cooperatives; they are the only people allowed to work within this nature reserve.
The vehicles are owned and maintained by the local tribes. They are usually open-top, flat-bed pick-up trucks with bench seating (no seat belts).
They don’t race across the desert and generally stay in convoy. The vehicles are roadworthy and well maintained, but not particularly comfortable and you are exposed to the elements. The tour manager will give a full safety briefing before the group embark.
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for.
A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness level when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and well-being whilst supporting the mental health charity of your choice.
We strongly recommend you train for the trek as we'll be tackling some steep terrain in the desert, especially as we venture up through the Black Mountains and the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it.
Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Jordan.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Walk With Me Jordan Desert Trek 2023.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,550 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of £100.
Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to do this at least fourteen weeks before the challenge starts.
*Please note that the optional excursion to Wadi Rum on Day 7 is not included in your challenge cost.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either self funding your challenge costs or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your:
One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome challenge.
16 and 17-year olds may participate if given permission by Dream Challenges. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.
You will, of course, need a pair of walking boots and you'll also need to bring your own sleeping bag (medium weight).
We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the challenge well before your departure date.
On the trekking days, we'll be spending the nights camping in the desert. You can choose to sleep in the tents we provide or most of our challengers choose to sleep under the stars.
On our first, sixth and seventh nights, we'll be staying in hotels on a twin-sharing basis. The hotel near the Dead Sea is luxurious, the one in Petra more modest but certainly adequate. It will feel like a 5-star hotel after 5 nights under the stars!
We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost. However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement (£100 per person, not included in your challenge cost) and have a room/tent to yourself, please get in touch and we can arrange this for you.
Certainly. Our accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis. However, if you would prefer to have a room/tent to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost of £100. Please note, this is not included in your challenge cost).
If you would like a single supplement, please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay, please let us know at least fourteen weeks before the event and we can arrange this for you.
The best way to get in touch is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday).
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation and also covers you for cancellation due to medically diagnosed COVID-19.
We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity trek in Jordan.
You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into Jordan and we will send you all the relevant information and forms to do this before the challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and we'll support you all the way.
We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the event. The programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer.
We also have fantastic challenge guides, a group of porters and at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying us throughout the challenge.
There will be around 40 participants in our group for this trek. You'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home