Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
36Trip End Apr 13, 2011
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If you were in any doubt which country you are in when you cross the border, then this is dispelled as soon as you walk down the street. Every single shop and restaurant has a large picture of King Abdullah in the window, dressed as an army general, a sheikh, an businessman, an astronaut... he has more guises than Mr Ben.
The first attraction on the Jordan itinerary was the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum (Moon Valley in English)
The highlight of the trip so far is undoubtedly Petra. I didnt know too much about it other than the classic shot of the 'Treasury' (the building at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) but it is a vast, sprawling site and it would take a week to see it all. Luckily, most of the tourists only see the Treasury too, waddling down from the entrance to the Treasury, and then taking a donkey ride back. This left most of the rest of the site relatively tourist free.
The scenery and geology alone are impressive enough, rocky gorges and vast cliffs of multicoloured red and yellow rock, with spectacular views over to Israel and the West Bank
The only people allowed to work there are the locals who are from a different Bedouin tribe. They used to live on the site before they were turfed out by the government in 1985 to open it up to tourists and perform excavations. They are some of the most friendly and hospitable people I have ever met, offering tea, offering to share their lunch, very eager to open conversation and discuss their way of life, and unlike Egypt, without the agenda of getting your money by the end of the encounter. They are very striking looking, with long back hair and lots of eye liner (even the men) - they look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Some of them have tattoos all over their faces, including one toothless old lady!
After 2 days in Petra, my feet are covered in blisters and I am totally exhausted
I'm really liking Jordan, but only have one more day here before heading to Syria on Monday. The trip has been great so far, but the pace is quite fast and there isnt much time to linger anywhere, I will be utterly exhausted by the end of it!