The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Trip Start Mar 04, 2004
Trip End Jul 02, 2005

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Monday, January 10, 2005

Mike is here at last! Mike is my good Kiwi buddy and we share an affinity for world politics and challenges. We are doing absolutely fantastic (at least now that he has finally arrived, he missed his plane and I was stranded in rainy Jordan for three days...) We spent the first two days in Amman doing tours of the area. First day was mostly a Roman ruins day, with the highlight being the city of Jerash, which is very well-preserved. Massive columns, cardo maximus, decumanus, temples, theatres, baths. Wicked. Next day was off to see the desert castles built by the Umayyads around 700AD. Cool, but not as good as Jerash. Highlight was Qsar Amra, where Robert Kaplan visited in 1998 (he's one of my favourite writers) with its frescoes of hunting scenes and nude women. Oh those naughty Islamic rulers! We finished off the day by seeing the Roman Theatre and Temple of Hercules in Amman and then playing some Quake III to relax in true Gen Y fashion. Mike and I also went to a few bars and we spend lots of time acclimatizing him to travelling in a non-Western country. Its fun watching him go through the mental acrobatics of figuring this place out. We stayed at Farah Hotel: friendly staff, rooms aren't bad, cheap eats nearby. Its been freezing and cloudy in Amman but the tourist spots are nearly deserted in January. I must say I am looking forward to the warmth of the Sinai.
The last two days have been truly spectacular. We are in Petra, seeing the Nabatean and Roman ruins. Without a doubt, this place is one of the ancient wonders of the world. The facades carved into the rock are huge, by huge I mean between 30-50 meters high and wide. And cliffs, caves and lookouts everywhere. Yes, the Treasury and Monastery completely deserve all the hype they get. And the rock is the most psychedelic, swirling, colourful rock anywhere. And Mike has a video camera. So this led to the obvious equation of: Two young guys, one great massive location, one video camera = ACTION ADVENTURE MOVIE!! That's right for the last two days, Mike and I have been not only seeing Petra but filming an adventure movie in which we search high and low for the treasure, I get possessed, Mike punched me in the head (for real and it rather hurt), Mike falls off a cliff, we survive an avalanche and shadow monsters, and have a crazy final fight scene. Oh and its a musical involving a chorus line and a gangster rap. Oh, and I change accents every scene and Mike tells lots of various people he loves them. This is really the most fun I have had in ages. How often do 26 yr olds get to play like this? Mike is going to splice it all together, put in a soundtrack and then send it to me in Victoria. I can't wait.
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