Aqaba – Lima Hike – half a day up and over
It’s been a while since I posted so got lots to catch up on!
This hike was quite a while ago but one that was thoroughly enjoyable. Matt ‘Hunter’ Wilson, Lenny, Matt N and myself set out reasonably early as we had to get to Oman to start. You have to get a boat from Dibba port to drop you off at Aqaba and sorting that out is part of the ‘fun’. Our negotiations went something along the lines of standing around for a while, seeing someone we recognised and taking it from there. A 2 engined boat with seats was going to cost us more, but would obviously get us there quicker – or that was what we were told! In the end we agreed with Captain Ali that he would be our transport on his boat and we were pretty sure he understood that he would be dropping us in one place and picking us up in another.
The trip out to Aqaba was quite eventful. We came across some goat pirates, who had run out of fuel.
They were literally just floating in the sea and started waving frantically as we were heading on our way. We pointed out the boat to Captain Ali and he made a detour out to them. It became apparent very quickly that they had run out of fuel and were trying to get back to Dibba, so Captain Ali duly gave them our jerry can full of spare fuel. Code of the sea I guess – and if we had then run out, we’d just wait for someone else to come by and they would give us theirs!
Having done the good deed for the day we set off again and within 2 minutes, our more expensive 2 engined boat, turned into a slower 1 engined boat! One of the engines packed up and we had to tootle along on just the one for quite a while. That was until Captain Ali had also had enough of the lack of speed and decided that he would fix the silent 2nd engine. He delved into his tool box (read rummaged around under the seat) and picked out what I can
only describe as a piece of magic wire. I say this, because the cover for the engine came off and for about 5 minutes Captain Ali was fiddling around with the engine, basically looked like he was prodding the engine, looking at it and then knocking it a bit. A bit more prodding and then cover back on, over to ignition and bingo, engine kicked into life and we were speeding towards Aqaba again! My confidence in our Caption soared – this guy knew what he was doing. I think his deep red hands and feet gave away a lifetime spent on or near the sea and boats, but even so, with literally no common language between us, I did wonder what might happen.
The trip was about 40 minutes on the boat and we could see our destination ahead as we pulled into the bay. We probably couldn’t have timed it any worse as we would effectively be doing our entire hike at the hottest part of the day between
11am-2pm. And when I was greeted by this site, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be there anymore. Effectively we were being dropped off at the bottom and we would then walk up this, over the top and down the other side into Lima, where hopefully, Captain Ali would be waiting to pick us up and bring us back to Dibba. This was the 2nd hike that I had agreed to go on with Mr Hunter Wilson and as we approached our drop off point I was thinking this might be the last one, as it had again been described as ‘pretty easy’. In spite of this, it was quite surprising just how quickly you can do this hike, as it’s pretty steep and before you know it, you have climbed a significant height and are looking out over some pretty amazing views. You also get up to the abandoned village pretty quickly and it’s quite eerie but again with some awesome views over contrasting brilliant blue/green sea and the dusty rock land formations jutting out into it. Doing the hike in the heat of the day definitely added a degree of difficulty to it, but all in all it is a great hike for beginners, the steepness of the route means that within about 4 hours you are up and down the other side, walking through the date farms and onto the coast for a refreshing dip in the sea if you like.
Great hike and thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it for something to do on a Friday/Saturday if you want to get out and about.