Italian Athlete Runs from Dead Sea to Aqaba in Support of Environment
AMMAN — Beside the renowned historical and nature destinations attracting tourists to Jordan, Wadi Araba stands as a multi-themed trail for desert running challenges.
Giuliano Pugottoli, an Italian desert runner, recently finished his third trip to Jordan during which he ran through Wadi Araba Desert, from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea.
Among 23 running trips around the world that he has done, Pugottoli said that Wadi Araba is “one of the best trails on the globe” as it combines distinguished landscape, location, nature, culture and history.
The trail attracts athletes running ultra-marathons, with a message of nature preservation, especially the disappearing Dead Sea.
“I ran in Pamir in Kazakhstan, 8,000 metres above sea level and, this time, I ran from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, to Aqaba”, Pugolotti told The Jordan Times on Friday.
During the challenge, participants can experience running and sleeping for three nights in a wide desert area, interacting with the bedouins and enjoying nature, Pugolotti noted.
According to biblical heritage, Wadi Araba was the pathway for Moses to travel to the “promised land” after crossing Sinai during the exodus from Egypt.
“Despite its small area, Jordan is like many countries in one, as it combines several climates and ecosystems, thus displaying diverse flora and fauna,” the traveller said.
The 220km-long Wadi Araba is a desert located in southwest Jordan, between the Dead Sea and Aqaba. It is shared between Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel while being part of the Great Rift Valley that runs between Turkey and Madagascar.
Being at such a geographic area is special, Pugolotti said, explaining that visitors can see many countries when doing this trail, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the West Bank, in addition to Jordan.
The trip will contribute to raising the world’s awareness about the Dead Sea shrinking, due to the lack of water, the runner said, expressing hope that the region finds a solution to rescue the sea from disappearing.
Pugolotti concluded by saying that the trail should be promoted to attract visitors, which would contribute to diversifying types of tourism in the Kingdom.