Arabian Nights

September 2023
Journeying in Jordan Read more
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  • Day 1

    Arrival Admin

    September 9, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Flight was pleasant enough, including a gorgeous above clouds sunset. Airport was very modern and organised, and even the car hire wasn't that bad, except its Visa only here and nearly everything we have is Mastercard.

    Fortunately the hotel was just a km down the road too so settled in by 23:30 (21:30 for us) - basic but we are up and outta here early tomorrow morning.
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  • Day 2


    September 10, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We had to navigate the motorway through Amman in the morning, but the roads are good and drivers reasonable (staying in lane optional!) so we were in the roman ruins in Jarash with about a hour.

    It's an impressive, sprawling site although having visited the Rome Forum only a couple of months ago slightly diminished it's impact. Still the two perfectly restored amphitheaters we incredible and we spent a couple of good hours wandering the ruins in the heat of the day.

    Rather than drive the normal, quick and boring way back via Amman we took the lesser traveled scenic route. First we went up and were rewarded with lovely cool breezes (our cars AC struggles with this heat), but then we went down, down and the heat got increasingly stifling.

    We stopped for supplies (24 litres of water!), an amazing swarma and a local SIM card. Most people speak some English but regardless their friendliness is just amazing.
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  • Day 2


    September 10, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ 🌙 31 °C

    We were v excited to get our first glimpse of the dead sea & arrive at our luxury hotel. We immediately put on our oldest swimmies & headed down to the lowest point on earth (420m below sea level) for a float.

    What a strange experience it's v hard to get your legs down, everything keeps bobbing up! It's an experience that's captured my imagination since childhood & floating with dead sea mud on my face as the sun went down over the hills of Israel was a happy contented moment. :)
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  • Day 3

    Arab Springs

    September 11, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    After a sumptuous breakfast we lazed around the infinity pool looking out over the West Bank, only tearing ourselves away from the luxury at noon check out time, noting the car stated 37C!

    We drove up the steep switchbacks to the panoramic view point. Fortunately coming up to sea level (!) had dropped the tempature to a mere 32C. We even managed to explore the short trail for some great views, took in an interesting little museum and cooled off with a gelato.

    Another short stint took us down to the Ma'In Hot Springs Hotel(-280masl). Again a lovely hotel but without the sprawling complex filled with rich people on Wall-e style golf carts. In fact there was barely another soul here!

    We tried the first pool, but way too hot at around 30C, the insanely hot sauna room was given short shrift, but much to Goldilocks credit the 3rd one was just right. Too hot to do much else we lazed around for the afternoon with some chilled Ibiza classics blazing, as we were the only ones there!

    We briefly ventured up to the public pools, but they were pretty hot so we had a soak in the hotel hot pool before sundowners and a delicious Jordanian dinner in a lovely setting.
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  • Day 5

    Stormy Daniels (Petra)

    September 13, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Today's blog is named after the storm that swept through the area. We were definitely appreciative of the slight cloud cover and minor drop in temperature, especially as it reached 44C (!) as we made our way along the bottom of the Dead Sea Highway before finally climbing UP to sea level(!!).

    You enter Petra through The Siq (canyon), and as you slowly descend the walls quickly come together leaving a small slither between the faces. Surprisingly it was created by tectonic movement, not water erosion as you'd expect.

    Then suddenly through the narrow fissure you see the amazing carving of the Treasary. You can see how excited Jo is from the photos!

    The canyon then widens and you go past carving after carving. We took a side route off past the royal tombs and climbed up to the top of the canyon for some impressive views. After rejoining the main street we then climbed the 850 steps up to The Monastery, possibly a more impressive building (sorry carving!) although not in such a picturesque setting.

    The walk out was some 9km or so from the far end, and we eventually emerged thirsty, dusty but utterly elated after crossing off something that's been on the bucket list a long time!
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  • Day 6

    Petra Return

    September 14, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Another early start and back down the siq into Petra. We were waiting for the sun to hit the Treasury, but soon realised that was a bit like watching the pot boil so carried on whilst it was quiet.

    This time we took the steep steps carved into a side canyon, and had the trail almost entirely to ourselves. The Place of High Sacrifice (goats, not people!) was our reward, along with some great views back into the ancient city and out over the rugged landscape.

    We made our way back down the gentle way and back out along the main route. We felt as we'd really explored Petra well and glad we had the extra time there.

    Next we headed a couple of hours down to Wadi Rum. Leaving our car in the village they ran us out to our camp in a 4x4 when we enjoyed a super chilled sunset, meal & stargaze.
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  • Day 7

    Wadi Rum

    September 15, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    It was a couple of hours drive to Wadi Rum, passing a few camels and not a lot else! The Rum village itself isn't much to be admired, but we parked up and got whisked away in a 4x4 into the desert.

    Camp consisted of a dozen or so permanent tents with a large communal tent and camp fire. After watching the sun set we enjoyed the Zarb meal cooked underground and then whiled away the evening star gazing and being regaled with music from an Arabic guitar. The tent was too hot for a sheet when we went to bed, but we woke up with the thick cover on.

    Following breakfast we went for a full day desert tour. The stops weren't that impressive if I'm honest (mushroom shaped rock anyone...?) but the whole experience of meandering along rough sand tracks between the massive rocky outcrops was amazing.

    An identical evening followed but it was so nice and chilled it might just have been my favourite part.
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  • Day 8

    Red Sea Diving

    September 16, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    We left Wadi Rum early morning and a couple of hours later we were in Aqada on the Red Sea. We shunned the main town and checked in to a dive hotel on the coast.

    After chilling by the pool for a a couple of hours we got peckish so drove down to the main resort area. Security let us in despite no hotel reservation there and we had a great happy hour burger and beer before claiming a sun lounger. That evening we wondered down to the public beach and the little beach bar for a light supper.

    The next morning we had an amazing dive on huge wreck just a short distance off shore. The brummie dive master briefed us for a 35 min dive so was impressed when someone my size lasted for 55 mins. Any dive you see a turtle on is a good dive, but we saw loads including a massive Barracuda, Durban Dancing Shrimp, Lion & Scorpion fish.

    The second dive was a much more gentle, shallow (11m) exploring the coral pinnacles. It was also a lovely long dive, but not quite as memorable as the wreck.

    Despite expending as little engery (& therefore air) diving makes you super hungry, so back to the resort happy and beach again.
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  • Day 10

    Mad About Madaba

    September 18, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We had a big decision to make: desert, kings or dead sea highway! Google said all about the same time of 4 hours, but we knew not to trust that already. In the end local advice swayed us back the route we mostly came along the dead sea, although interesting we peaked at only 36C, considerably lower than the 44C last week.

    We stopped off at Karak to visit the old crusader castle. We weren't expecting much but it was pretty amazing to have unfettered access to this ancient place and imagine the knights enjoying the coolness behind the thick stone walls. We could have done with a couple of hours here but we were a little tight on time so rushed around and did the final couple of hours push to Madaba, only half an hour from the airport.

    Unlike us, we visited lots of churches. The first had the remnants of a 6th century mosaic map of the entire holy lands and beyond, the second a massive mosaic floor, and the third a rickety bell tower plus some amazing catacombs to explore.

    A well earned sunset beer was enjoyed on a roof top, with the local pigeon fancier providing the entertainment. We wrapped the evening, and the trip, off with a lovely local meal in a restaurant set in a cave, accompanied by some local wine that was so full bodied it could have climbed out of the glass by itself!
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  • Day 12

    Chillaxing in Cyprus

    September 20, 2023 in Cyprus ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    An early start the next morning with the 5am call to prayer rousing us, before dropping the car and making the short hop over to Cyprus.

    As soon as we land here we feel relaxed as its so familiar to us know. The rest of the week evaporated with us mooching around our favourite haunts.Read more