<<The deeper you go into the desert, the closer you come to God>>. It’s an old arab proverb.
Continuing my tour of the desert castles, I decide to visit Qasr Burka. If you try looking on google map you will not find it by name.
It’s located in Badia, the eastern jordan desert, homeland of bedouins. With my little Hyundai, map in hand, I arrive in Safawi, and then reach Ar Ruwayshid, a dusty village on the road 10. There are just 80 km from the Saudi Arabia border. And some white suvs I crossover confirm that.
There’s no paved road to Qasr Burka, so, according to a boy’s indications, I leave the road and head north.
I’m in the desert, alone.
Temperature is good, I think around 20/25 degrees in November. The scenery is impressive, almost unreal, an expanse of dust and pebbles, where the only limit seems the horizon.
It’s late afternoon and the paved road is behind me for the past ten miles, but there are many signs of vehicles tread that have created real lanes: some parallel, others crossing here and there.
Evidently it’s not a place little frequented by people.
Driving is great, with no obstacles, no traffic signals, no traffic lights … so much so that I exaggerate a little and occasionally I take some “tap” underneath the car, but nothing serious, the motor-engine is safe. The boy, who I asked how far the castle was, (<<Kilo to Qasr Burka? Kilo?>>), made a sign with his fingers, a 1 and a 3. But I’m been driving for 25 kilometers and not even the shadow of the castle. The sun is hiding.
So I decide to stop and visit the castle the next day. I had planned to sleep in the car, one of my desires since the beginning of this trip is to spend a night alone in the desert. Once off the car, the silence is absolute. No animals, no vociferating. Not even the wind, that blows at times, hisses.
The feeling is indescribable. That’s what I was looking for. I, alone.
The night before I went shopping in anticipation of the day after: tea, sugar, cold cuts, bread and … meat, and charcoal and a grill.
After settling a little pile of stones for the fire, located in the headlights of the car, I begin to burn leaves and dry grass and then blowing on the coals.
It’s dark now. And the fire has no intention of starting. After half an hour of trying, I realize that the grass in the desert is not really dry, has a yellowish color, but it’s not dry, so it burns with difficulty. And, worse still, jordan coal needs a long, very long time to flare.
I renounce the grilled steaks, let the aluminium tea cup on and I get in the car, where I eat voraciously bread and cold cuts, beef and turkey, of course and canned hummus.
But suddenly, in front of the car, I see a cloud of sparks flying around. The fire is kindled at last! I jump out and put the meat to roast, while the water is already boiling. Tonight, double, satisfactory, large dinner. I really deserved it.
The temperature drops a lot, I think it’s around 10 degrees. So I get ready for the night: I lay the seat, put on a sweater and I slip into my sleeping bag, after sipping syrian whiskey. You read that right, sirian whisky: good and also inexpensive. Good night!