My mother and I took a trip to Jordan in April 2018. It was a birthday gift for her 🙂 Below are the places we discovered-

1. WADI RUM:

When you drive down from Petra to Wadi Rum, you will start seeing these cliffs/mountains on your left. The drive was an hour and a half long.

It is a desert like no other. I have been living in the Middle East for a very long time, but I haven’t seen this kind of a desert before! Even the sand color is different in different places.

There are a lot of camps to choose from. You will be left admiring mother nature when you sit under the stars in the evening.
Meat for dinner was cooked in a bedouin style.

We took a 2 hour open jeep tour the next morning; the tour included watching the sunrise, drive to the place where Lawrence met up with the locals, the place where the movie “The Martian” was shot and a look at a few Nabataean carvings.
You can choose to ride camels in stead of an open jeep. Sure, it will be a slow ride and it won’t take you to so many places around the wadi.

Spend some time by yourself, admiring nature 🙂

2. PETRA: City of Nabataeans Start your day as early as possible so that you can beat the crowd. If you plan to stay in Jordan for more than 3 days, get a “Jordan Pass” as it gives you access to not only Petra, but also to 40 other locations.

We arrived there around 7am and there were not many people. If you have a Jordan Pass, remember to get it stamped by the officials near the ticketing area and pick up a free map from that area.

The walk from the entrance area to the “Siq” is around 15 minutes. Locals might tell you that a horse/donkey ride is free, but apparently they charge a big amount as a tip at the end of the trip. I think if you are fit, it is not worth arguing with them. Just tell them sternly to back off.

The walk through the Siq is around 45 minutes. You can ride a horse carriage, but it is expensive (you can still bargain) and it is a bumpy ride (avoid if you have back problems).

At the end of Siq is the treasury. Spend some time there, admiring the hard work of Nabataeans!

Take a right to walk towards the street of facades and the Roman theatre. A bit further down the Roman theatre, on your right are the steps that will take you up to the Royal tombs.

You can walk straight down towards the monastery. You will have to climb around 800 steps.

I didn’t go up the monastery and I walked around 11 kilometers. You have to come back the same way; so, remember to take short breaks.

There are a few restaurants in and around the area. We had lunch in a restaurant opposite the ticketing office; pizza was good there.
There are a few cafés after the siq- first one is in front of the treasury, the second one on the left of the street of facades, a small one is opposite the Roman theatre, one at the base of royal tombs and one is on your way to the monastery.

Try to carry your own water and keep sipping on it as the air can be quite dry. Bathrooms are not very clean but are okay.

Be stern with the locals as they might try to use their charm and charge you for inexpensive things/services.

3. DEAD SEA: It’s more like a lake than a sea

It was a long 4 hour drive from Wadi Rum to the dead sea resort. The beach was walking distance from the resort. You can float on your back and apply that blackish mud on your body.

Remember that the water in dead sea is extremely salty, approximately 85% saline. So, the moment you come out of the sea, take a quick shower with fresh water, if possible. Dead sea water can make your skin dry, pretty quickly. Apply a lot of body cream after a shower. Vaseline is a good option for extremely dry skin.

Because it is so saline, almost nothing grows in it. Sadly, it is drying up very quickly because of extensive human activity on both sides of the border.

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