Jordan Travel Blog› entry 118 of 251 › view all entries
June 24th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
The land south of Amman was rolling golden hills dotted with dark green trees -- a little bit like Tuscany, but with fewer trees and more sand. It was really beautiful.
The first TOI (town of interest) of our drive was Madaba. It was a cute, lively little place and seemed worthy of further exploration (or even an overnight), but we opted to enjoy it from the car and keep going.
We then passed through Wadi Mujib, a huge valley reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, but smaller and less colorful. We could see for miles and miles, and everything in front of us was the color of dog biscuits, and just as brittle and dry. We made a photo stop here and experienced an awful stench outside the car, which made us both gag. Something must have died out there. (Then I kept smelling it all day, like it had permeated my clothes. Ew. )
We made another stop in Karak, 140km south of Amman, which is home to an ancient castle (now in ruins) built by the Crusaders in the early 12th century. We parked the car in the town (must be my Chicago roots, but I always feel like we are going to get towed when we do that), and spent some time exploring the sight, much of it underground.
From Karak we jogged west, over to the Dead Sea Highway. This actually was not intentional, but we are not sorry it happened because it was gorgeous! I was happy to get another peek at the Dead Sea, though it did add a bit of time to our drive.
At one of the checkpoints near the Dead Sea, we picked up a passenger. The guard asked us if we could take his friend, and pointed to a man sitting on the side of the road in civilian clothes carrying a plastic bag. He looked hot. â€śSURE!â€ť we said with enthusiasm (the guard had a gun after all :^) and the guy got in and announced â€śno bus!â€ť and I wondered how long he had been waiting. There was just NO other traffic on this road.
We didnâ€™t chat much with our passenger, as he didnâ€™t speak much English. He did tell us that â€śJordan is goodâ€ť and that â€śAmerica and Jordan good friends.â€ť We heartily agreed with both statements and that was pretty much the end of the conversation.
He helped us navigated through a couple towns and got us back on the right highway and pointed to Petra, so we were lucky to have him with us. We let him off just south of Tafila.
From there, Wadi Musa (the town where Petra is located) was well marked. We found our way to the town, and to our hotel, quite easily. Our hotel is the Movenpick, which is our new favorite brand ever since our nice experience using their spa and beach at the Dead Sea. Our room is a little dated, but very comfortable and bright, and the hotel is perfectly situated at the entrance to Petra.
After getting settled in the room we went off to explore the area outside of the hotel. We were so tired though! We just walked a little ways up the street, then stopped for a late lunch at Mystic Pizza, which had a lot of patrons sitting in front. I had mushroom soup which seemed like mushroom-flavored dishwater, and Steve had a falafel sandwich, which was served on baguette (odd).
In the evening, we just stayed in our room, and didnâ€™t even wander out for dinner. Steve ordered a salad from room service, and I ate some of the bread from the huge bread basket that came with it (which will feed us for two more meals I think!). Our plan is to get an early start at Petra tomorrow, and hopefully beat the heat... Itâ€™s crazy hot here, and apparently they are experiencing a heat wave! Just our luck :^)
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