Posted by: lindsaygoes | March 16, 2012

Rocking my way through Jordan

All was going well heading into Jordan, airport pickup was there and everything. Although half way to the hotel our guide got a phonecall that there were two other people at the airport waiting to be picked up, and there were only seven on his list. Turns out we were the ones who weren’t on the list. After a brief panic things got sorted out and we had a place to stay for the night. Hooray! Even though it was getting pretty late we headed for an amazing Jordanian dinner. The table was filled with breads, dips and salads, practically groaning under the weight. We all tucked in, filling up, and then found out all the food was just the entree. After that we had various grilled meats as well. It was a lot of food.

The next day we ended up heading off a bit later than planned as a lot of the roads had been closed because they were frozen over. Not quite what I expected going to Jordan. Eventually we left and headed to Ajuloun Castle, one of the few castles built by the Muslims during the Crusades. Due to the elevation of the castle there was even some snow on the ground, and we had amazing views of the surrounding area. Then it was on to Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities, which was pretty spectacular, and surrounded very closely by the modern city. It initially seemed pretty small when we arrived but as we passed the first gate you could see how far it really extended.

The following day we left Amman and headed to Wadi Rum (which roughly translates to desert of sand, how imaginative). After settling into our luxury accommodation (tents) we had a jeep ride through the desert. We got to climb a sand dune, see some ancient Anfashieh Inscriptions, have tea and take photos of the sunset. Well, it was a bit cloudy and early for the actual sunset, but it was still quite nice. Except for the bit where I lost my sunglasses. That bit was unfortunate. Our guide often takes rock climbing tours so once we got back to the camp he took us for a short free rock climb. Going up was fine and the view from the top was quite nice. I may have frozen a bit on the way down, but I managed to get back to the ground without dying or breaking any bones, so it was all good. After dinner we sat by the fire (in an attempt to get warm more than anything) and then had a cold night in the tents.

It was a pretty short drive from Wadi Rum to our next stop, Petra which was amazing. It covered such a huge area too. We walked through these amazing canyons before we reached the first big site, the Treasury (the main one that is one the photos you see of Petra). From there we saw some other tombs before our guide took us off the main path, we walked through some caves and climbed some rocks (probably illegally). The rocks in some of the caves had spectacular colours and striations as well as great views of the Royal tombs and amphitheatre. Then we had a bit of a hike up to another tomb, the Monastery. It was lots of steps uphill, and I felt sorry for the donkeys having to take tourists up the steep paths. Once we got to the top it was definitely worth it though as the Monastery seemed even more impressive than the Treasury (maybe that was just the effort to get there though!). The way down went a bit faster, especially the couple of times I tripped and rolled my ankle, but no real damage done.

The next day it was on to Egypt, which was an adventure in itself, but I’ll tell you all about that in my next email.



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