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Published: February 2nd 2013
No snow overnight, but it was still cold and gloomy with the threat of more rain. Ahmad talked with the Tourist Police and was advised that while the Petra site had opened this morning it was likely to be closed down again if (when?) it rained. Not really wanting to go through the whole evacuation exercise again we agreed with Ahmed that the best course of action would be to proceed to Karak.
After a quick stop at Moussa (Moses'😉 Spring we started climbing back into the Petra Mountains. Before long we were above the cloud line and visibility was almost zero again and the road was lined with snow that had been ploughed from the road after yesterday's bad weather. When we reached the other side of the mountains the sky was blue and there was sunshine. Shame about the pall of bad weather hanging over Petra!!
When we reached Al Karak it was to discover that much of modern Karak has been built inside the old fortress walls. Despite this the remains of the castle hover dramatically from the ridge. This vantage point was first built on by the Nabataeans, but is most famous for the mediaeval
castle raised during the Crusades by Payen le Boutellier, The Lord of Montreal. The castle was later occupied by Salah ah-Din when the region was conquered by the Muslims and later still by the Memluks when Jordan was part of the Ottoman Empire. The ruins retain features from all of these periods.
From the heights of Karak we plunged down again towards the Jordan Valley and the southern end of the Dead Sea. At this end of the Dead Sea it is quite obvious just how far the waters have receded in the last couple of decades.
We stopped at one spot along the shoreline to look at the salt crystals that have formed at the edge of the sea. The salt crystal formations looked very like large cauliflowers clinging to the shore.
We made another stop at Wadi Mujib. This valley or rift forms part of a rift that runs between Africa and Turkey and provides a migratory path and breeding ground for many species of birds that migrate between Africa and Europe. The area is a national park that is very popular with hikers between April and October. People book up to two years in
advance to explore this area. At this time of the year we were only able to have a quick look into the mouth of the gorge which was spectacular.
By mid-afternoon we were back in Amman and Ahmad dropped us off at the Grand Palace Hotel for our last night in Jordan before we head to the airport tomorrow afternoon for our flight home. We paid for Internet access again and this time we have been able to log on to check emails, what the weather is going to be like in Melbourne on Sunday and bring the travelblog up-to-date.
Steps for the day: 5,401 (3.69 kms)
Tot: 2.867s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 10; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0485s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb