Blogs from South, Jordan, Middle East - page 2

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Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum September 11th 2018

Jordan springs to mind a laid back, desert with humble people living off the Dead sea, the lowest point on Earth (423 m, 1,388 feet below sea level). It is a region which has given rise to three religions which have spread extensively. I had four days to explore this wonderful place. Jordan is a country with so much aridity that a little greenery is welcomed with hope. Nomads of Edomite tribes named Nabateans (originally from Saudi Arabia) settled down near small springs in the arid deserts. Water meant everything. However, I found that the bleak desert also has its own beauty. The big eyes with long eyelashes of the graceful camels or the green fig trees sprouting in the crevices are delightful. I flew Royal Jordan Airways and enjoyed the spicy breads for breakfast. We ... read more
Desert
Bride and groom on camels
Sandstones in Petra

Middle East » Jordan » South » Showbak April 17th 2018

Left Petra at 8am for our return trip to Amman but with a few stops along the way. First was Little Petra which is set in a small valley not far from Petra, but also built by the Nabateans. It is believed that it was like a suburb of Petra and housed traveling traders on the Silk Road. This was a very interesting site in itself and if situated anywhere else in the world would be a much bigger deal in itself Next stop was the Crusader Castle at Shobak, where Lana told us about it but just made it an option if anyone wanted to explore the castle itself, which entailed a 15 minute walk up a steep hill. Barry, Pierre, Mary, Paul, Brian and I elected to go and we had about 20 minutes ... read more
Little Petra
Little Petra
Little Petra

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra April 16th 2018

Today was our (very) full day at Petra. Lana took our group minus Pierre, Brian and Margaret who had decided to do their own thing at around 7:45am and she told us some interesting things along the way into the Treasury. We then continued on and she took us to a shop which was run by a young man who is the son of a New Zealand lady, who married a Bedouin. He was selling jewelry and of course, his mother's autographed book which of course, Daisy duly bought. It was interesting, because Jenny in our group was telling us about this story and now here we were talking to the son. He lived in a Bedouin cave in Petra with his parents when he was a baby until they were moved by the government into ... read more
Petra - Water pipes
Petra - marriage spot
Petra - First glimpse

Middle East » Jordan » South April 15th 2018

I managed to wake up at about 6:10, early enough to catch the sun coming up over the horizon and it was very peaceful and serene walking around the desert surrounding our camp site. Lovely brekky in the tent before heading off at 8:30 for our camel ride back to the Wadi Rum Visitor's Centre. Brian and I were not too keen on doing this. The last time I rode a camel was in Egypt in 1984 and I swore I would never do that again, but at least I managed to avoid it for 34 years. As it turned out, it was a very pleasant ride across the desert and I was surprised to learn later that we riding for 50 minutes. After a short comfort (and shopping) stop at the Visitor's Centre we were ... read more
Near Wadi Rum camp site
Animal (and tyre) tracks near Wadi Rum camp site
Wadi Rum camp site

Middle East » Jordan » South April 14th 2018

Relaxed start to the day, brekky at 8am and after packing we went for a little exploration around Aqaba for a couple hours. We then checked out at noon and Lana took us to a local pizza place for lunch before boarding our bus for the 2 hour journey to our camp in the desert, Wadi Rum. First stop in Wadi Rum is the visitors centre where there is a great view of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, shops and pretty yucky toilets. It was then a short drive to a spot where we were transferred to utility jeeps. Four people were sat in the back of each jeep. This spot also had some very old forms of writing on rocks. We then were taken on a fantastic tour of features in the Wadi Rum area. ... read more
Daisy with Lawrence of Arabia
Wadi Rum - 7 Pillars of Wisdom
Wadi Rum

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 13th 2018

Breakfast at 6:30am for an early 7:30am exit for the long drive to the south of Jordan. During the early part getting out of Jordan, our guide Lana pointed out a few things but once out of the city, most of the drive was through very flat arid land with the occasional quarry or cement company. We had two comfort stops amounting to about 40 minutes and got to Aqaba at 12:30pm. As we got closer to Aqaba, the landscape changed as big rocky outcrops started appearing and the land was not as flat. Aqaba is a very popular holiday destination on The Red Sea and it is quite different to downtown, where we stayed in Amman. Generally cleaner and the buildings are in much better condition and generally newer looking and not as confronting as ... read more
On the way to Aqaba
Aqaba Cruise
Aqaba Cruise

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum November 5th 2017

Meet Camelus Dromedarius. Lest you get confused. Camelus Bactrianus is not Camelus Dromedarius. Arabian camels are not Bactrian camels, but are Dromedarian i.e the ONE -humped camel of the HOT deserts of northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Whereas the camel with two humps Bactrianus is native to the COLD deserts of the steppes of Asia. Hot or cold, they share the same fate of being used as saddle animals and beasts of burden as they can stand up to life in the desert because of that hump which stores food - not water - They can live for a month from the stored fat. Water...they can drink 40 gallons in 14 minutes. Camels can reach 7 feet in height (at the hump) and weigh up to 1500 pounds. Dromedarians can live for 40 years, the female ... read more
waiting for us near the Lawrence Spring camel trough
Watering stop for ages
Jack Sparrow our camel herd driver at Lawrence Spring

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra November 5th 2017

We have the whole day to explore Petra at our leisure. Our driver collects us after breakfast and suggests he takes us to the back (the tradesman’s entrance) rather than the Tourist front entrance. We wonder if he’s saying this because it’s more convenient for him. But he’s right again. He drops us at the top of the hill and we walk down into Petra. We are alone apart from the occasional Bedouin riding his camels/donkeys/horses to work. The road is lined with caves and ancient carvings. We have a lovely day exploring Petra, have a picnic sitting on a rock at the top of the Siq, then head for the meeting point to pick up our coach to Eilat. The group have had problems at the border and only 20 minutes in Petra. It’s a ... read more
Rock that looks like an elephant
Road to Petra
Donkeys

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra November 4th 2017

Today we are going to Petra. We have decided against independent travel and booked a tour. I’m not really a tour person - I don’t have the patience for other people. We leave our hotel for the 7 am pick up. The car is late and only takes us to a meeting point to wait for our bus. By the time the bus arrives, it is in an hour since we left our hotel and we can still see it. We take the bus to the border. One group member has issues with Israeli Immigration and we must wait. It is now 2 hours since we left our hotel and we can still see it. At Jordanian Immigration two group members have problems and we have to wait again. By the time we board our Jordanian ... read more
First view of the Treasury
Siq
Siq (2)

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum November 1st 2017

Our Bedouin camp at Wadi Rum. October 19th the final adventure. We are leaving the remains of ancient desert nomads behind to join living nomads inhabiting the desert today. From the Nabataeans to the Bedouin. They inhabit Wadi Rum which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. A 'Wadi' is the valley of a dry river hence Petra is in Wadi Musa. The &Rum& part I don't know about! Mind you, many of the men there could be family to Pirates from the Caribbean.... looking little Jack Sparrows, so who knows.......! 😎 Our driver was funny, fast talking, good natured with a thick accent. He obliged us by making photo stops as we left Petra. The desert landscape continues to impress and stun me. Who knew that barren land could be so varied... rock types and ... read more
Our team of hosts
camel watering trough at Lawrence Spring
Another landmark named for Lawrence of Arabia




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