We had another casualty this morning. One of our team members had been bitten by an insect multiple times and the bites became infected. She had to be taken to the hospital to cut out the infection. This makes two hospital visits and one clinic visit in less than a week. Everyone has returned to duty though and we all seem to be doing all right. Today we traveled down the King’s Highway. We said goodbye to Madaba, and traveled to Makawir where King Herod killed John the Baptist by beheading him. The story was that the King married his brother’s wife (while they were still married) and John disapproved. The new queen’s daughter, Salome, danced for the king while he was drunk and he promised her anything she wanted. She didn’t know what she wanted, so she asked her mother who asked for John the Baptist’s head. The king had publicly made the promise and was forced to carry out the dead. The site required a hike up a mountain. On top, the Jordanians started to reconstruct the columns amid the rubble. The view showed the Red Sea. Christians lived in the caves….and in one of the caves…John was executed. Lott’s cave was close by, but we did not have enough time to visit it. We packed back into the bus and resumed our trip down the King’s Highway. Next we stopped to view Wadi Al Mujjib…..known as Jordan’s Grand Canyon…the view was spectacular. We stopped along the way to have tea and three types of pies; spinach, cheese, and potato. All three were excellent, but my favorite was the spinach pie. We continued to Wadi bin Hmmad, which is where two plates are moving. In the middle is a stream formed from hot waterfalls (since hot springs are located in the mountains). We got out and hiked in the water for three hours enjoying the rock formations, rapids, and hot and cold waterfalls. I have never seen a place both peaceful and beautiful like this one. We hiked through until we reached a passage where we made a fire. Our guides, who are Bedouins, showed us how to make traditional Bedouin tea. The tea was very sweet. After our tea, we returned through the natural wonder. In the future, I will have to pack some type of waterproof hiking shoe. I didn’t want to walk in my walking shoes since we have a 7 hour hike tomorrow, so I ended up wearing my flip flops…..which were slow and uncomfortable. We loaded back on the bus and drove for two hours to reach Karak….which is a town that has a crusade castle overlooking it. We will explore the castle tomorrow.

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