Monday, 13 August 2012

Jordan, the desert country

After two weeks of being blown away by the sights, sounds and smells of Egypt, I wasn't sure if I would be so amazed by the neighboring country of Jordan. Now don't get me wrong, I was so excited to be going to Petra but I must admit I didn't know a whole lot else about the country that I would be calling home for the next 12 days.

I arrived in downtown Amman slightly battered and bruised by the crazy old ladies at Cairo airport. My first impression of this country is of how dry and desolate it looks. If it wasn't for the vivid blue sky the landscape would lack any colour.

I joined a tour for a few days to ensure I covered as many sites as possible. First stop was the cute town of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The four hour drive across the country bought home the reality of living in a land which is 80% desert.

After so much sand it was great to see the water.

I found a new friend on the side walk of this town.

The next day we headed to Wadi Rum, home to the Bedouin people.

We stopped for a cup of tea and a chat with the locals.

Driving to Peta was really cool, we headed up so high into the mountains that my ears were popping. Once at the top, the drive down into the town is breath-takingly beautiful.

We settled in to our quite fancy hotel and went out onto the terrace for dinner. We were serenaded by Arabic music, fireworks and gunfire! It was the end of high school and apparently firing an AK47 is just the way the locals roll. The next day the papers sported that 110 people had been injured, so pleased I decided not yo go for an after dinner stroll around town.

I woke up early and excited for my Petra adventure. Walking through the siq, the narrow stone passageway, it was incredible to see the various carving on the rocks.

My first view of the Treasury actually made me squeal just a little bit.

I have seen so many photos and docos about this amazing site but never could I have imagined the size and scale of the buildings and the town. And apparently only 20% of the ancient city has been uncovered to date.

These dudes standing in front of the pillars will give you some idea of the size of this building.

The ancient city of Petra was home to approx 30,000 people so there are loads of tombs. The average Joe got a basic carved tomb with the important dudes getting magnificent carved ones.

After a spot of lunch and some water to recover from the 5km walk in I decided I needed to climb the 900 steps up a bit of a mountain to see the monastery.

It was worth every step!

I then kept climbing so i could see the view from the top. That's me being just a little bit weary!

I got chatting to a camel dude on the walk out and decided I'd help him out with a few Jordanian Dina by taking a ride.

It was a big day of walking in the heat and the dust, but my trusty hiking boots held up well.

Posted from somewhere round the world...

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