I’ve been wanting to get to Jordan for a long time and had my eye on the G-Adventures “Active” trip as the best way too see the country. Blessed with being smack in the middle of the volatile Middle East, bordered by Syria, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia, yet being one of the poorest with no oil reserves to speak of, Jordan has had a pretty rough run recently with tourist numbers down 80% on 10 years ago. They have an embarrassment of tourist attractions though and for those willing to make the trip it’s absolutely safe and worth it.
First stop was Jerash, some remarkably well preserved Roman ruins, we got there first thing in the morning and largely had the place to ourselves to roam around in. Complete with oval forum, hippodrome, amphitheatre and beautifully preserved mosaics.
The Dana Reserve National Park.
We drove south to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. The water has a ridiculously high salt content allowing you to float on top, also allows you to get searing pains in the eye and horrible taste in the mouth when even a droplet splashes up. Some people come here for weeks to have a holiday or skin treatment, one night was fine by me.
Canyoning in Wadi Mujib (I’m 90% sure), it hadn’t rained in a while so there was only a small stream running through the middle, apparently it can become a LOT higher after rainfall, as seen later on!
Then it was time for the star of the show, Petra. Again, we got up super early in the morning to begin a hike from one end of the park to the other. The first stop was the Library, and we got the whole place to ourselves to marvel at it for about half an hour before the hordes arrived.
On top of the world, this was near the end of our 20km day-long hike through Petra.
Getting up super early to be the first ones into the park has its advantages, we had The Treasury all to ourselves.
Up above the crowds, this was a great vantage point to take in the majestic Treasury and have some food and drink out of the sun.
Getting out into the vast expanse of the Wadi Rum desert in some beat-up 4x4s.
Sunset over Wadi Rum. Glorious.
This arch is the desert was just too good a photo-op to pass up. #squad
Right down the bottom of the country is a port city called Aqaba which is right at the top of the Red Sea. The water is known to be incredibly clear and full of marine life so we donned some snorkels and dived in off the boat we’d hired for the day. Can’t wait to go back and do some diving.
Amazing the difference a week can make. After some rain, a canyon near to the one we walked through earlier in the week was now open and the water level was intense! There are ropes and ladders set up along the way as you battle up stream to the end of the trail, only a few bits where you couldn’t stand, so much fun.
Next stop: Dubai.