Still in the desert: Houston, we’ve had a problem here!
Upon awakening in the desert (hence the previous episode), at around 7 a.m., when the air is still pretty cold, I start out to clear the mini-camp, arrange grill, charcoal sack, water and other things into the trunk and I find that … I have a flat tire.
Yes, totally deflated.
I do not lose heart: I empty the trunk again and take the spare wheel. I go back to get the jack, but there’s not. I have no jack.
At that point I realize that I can do only one thing, walking to the village and ask for help. I don’t miss water (I have about twenty liters) and it’s not too hot; they are 25 km, I can do that in 4 or 5 hours, I think. I’ve to go south, orienting with the just risen sun. I arrange all in the trunk, for the second time, ?
4 bottles of water and my backpack, when on the horizon, I see a cloud of dust. It comes closer. It’s a white vechicle, running on a parallel track. I start screaming and jumping, waving my arms and moving my colored backpack. The cloud is getting closer and closer, is a pick-up! The driver sees me, it changes direction, cutting diagonally and stops in front of me.
An elderly man, dressed in a white tunic and traditional keffieh, and a boy, perhaps his son or grandson, get off the car. They don’t know a word in English, but I show him the flat tire and by gestures I make him understand that I do not have the jack.
Immediatly the boy takes their one and they give me a hand to change the tire. I thank, offer them some juice and I ask (if I can say) how far away Qasr Burka is. The old man beckons to follow them, they’re going to bring me there, fantastic!
After 5, at most 10 km, I see the black ruins of the fort. I lacked really a little the night before.
It was built in the 3rd century by Romans (everywhere them, it seems they have built in every place on Earth) to protect a dam. You got it, a dam in the middle of the desert, to water the caravans that passed between Syria and Arabia. Pratically an artificial oasis.
Later it became a monastery, during the Byzantine period. What remains are indeed parts of the walls and basalt blocks. And a smaller and smaller lake, memories of ancient stops of camels, horses and men.
And here you are my saviors:
Guides that you can find also online, suggest to be self-sufficient and ready for any situation if you go to Qasr Burqa. And also to go with some local by a 4WD…
Here it is, my jeep!