Day 5: Wadi Run Dead Sea

After breakfast we began our Jeep safari run through the Wadi Rum.

Jeeps a Go-Go!

What an experience with the sand whipping through your hair and the mountain scenery surrounding us. There were many mountain climbs and I managed to take a roll down one. What fun!

Camel ride

Myself and another gal elected to take a camel ride as the others journeyed on via Jeeps. The silence of this walk along with the mountainous visions will remain forever with me.

Here are more pictures.

Camels grazing
Another camp
Ancient writings on a mountainside
Camp close up

Sadly, I returned to the bus for our Dead Sea Swim. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth. It’s salt and mud are thought to be therapeutic. It is fed by many rivers and holds a high concentration of salt. Everyone floats well there, however watch the salt in your eyes as it burns………….

Day 4: Petra by day Wadi Run at night

I really appreciated Petra by day after the evening experience as it set the tone for our day event. On the way through the Siq, (narrow cleft of the rock), to the Treasury there were many beautiful artifacts as well as music.

Native songs.

Following are sculptures and tomb pictures. These items abound on the route to the Treasury and its high cliffs entice the young and fit to climb.

Beautiful sculpture
Tomb
More Tombs
Tombs galore
Siq to Treasury
And we get closer..
Then you arrive.


Shops and vendors align the route past the Treasury providing tourists a place to stop, rest and take in the beauty of the area.

Camel rides and horses are also available for hire. These help those wanting to see more without walking and a guide accompanies you.

A camel waiting for a customer

I took the trek to the Monastery which someone said is 69 flights of stairs. This was done via mule for 10 dinars/14 USD and leaves you within a 30 minute walk to the Monastery. I found this terrifying as the mules foot was often a hairs breath away from a gorge but others who are of Indiana Jones spirit enjoyed it.

Prior to dismount

The remaining several hundred steps were tiring but worth it.

Monastery

Since the week provided amazing weather I ventured forth to the area known as “best view” according to its weathered sign. Much of Petra’s rugged topography reminded me of New Hampshire, Arizona but mostly the route to Los Alamos, New Mexico, home of the atomic bomb.

Horses taking a break

On the way up to the “best view” I stopped and ate my lunch on a perch off a cliff. Priceless.

Note to hikers: take your trash with you.

Lunch spot

The “best view” was exquisite and vendors were located at this perch as well.

Best View

It was now 2:45 pm and with 4:30 fast approaching I began my trek down the mountain. At the base I found a new site, The Great Temple Complex.

Horses resting as they pray?.

Scurrying back to the bus I hopped another mule ride to the Treasury and with my last 5 dinar/7USD rode a slow horse ride back to the gate. How I wish I could have taken the transport below. .

No Visa accepted.

I made the bus and next stop was Wadi Run, where we tented at a camp run by Bedouin hosts. As we entered the camp music greeted us along with tea in front of a bonfire.

Music pre-dinner

Dinner was delicious, music with dancing fascinating and the bonfire warm. In the evening there was an optional visit to the star gazing area where I saw the moon through a high powered telescope and learned Pluto was no longer a planet. Poor Pluto.

Driving through the desert at night was an experience. We became stuck in the sand and the driver let air out of the tires to increase traction. Luckily another vehicle arrived and returned us to our tents.

Picture of the Captain Camp at night. What a marvelous sleep!

Jordan Day 3: Madaba Mount Nebo Kerak Castle Petro at candlelight

We traveled along the Kings Highway today. This road which has been used over 5000 year holds the beauty of olive trees and rural villages along its route. My only wish is they’d pick up the trash as it is a great eyesore.

Our first stop was St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church which held 6th century mosaics. It was a weathered but beautiful antiquity. Gals who exposed knees or shoulders were given robes to cover these exposed parts prior to visiting the church.

The town also had interesting shops. I found a greater selection of Barbies here with better price. Bring you dinars as country wide not all take Visa.

Moses died here

Next stop Mount Nebo a place of great spiritual value with breathtaking beauty and views.

View from church
Cross outside church
One of the many Mosaic floorings

The Franciscans researched this location and purchased it in the early 1930’s. Several of the priests unearthed and renovated the floorings on display at the church.

Welcome

Kerak Castle was our last afternoon stop. This was a crusaders castle from the 12th century. The structure was well maintained and fascinating with its kitchen area and prison.

Outbuilding
Prison Hallway
Castle views

Our evening event was Petra By Candlelight. The picture does no justice to the event. It is something that needs to be experienced as words can’t express the event. Beware of the brick walkway you travel as several tumbled. The candle light lining the route is the only light and it’s dark. Be safe. Hold hands.

Once in front of the Treasury flue music plays, tea is distrbuted and the story of Petra explained. Enjoy. You will never forget the experience.

Day 1: Amman and Jerash

We began our day shortly after breakfast. There were about 20 in our group and everyone was pleasant and excited to be on the trip.

Driving through Amman I observed a modern, clean city. I was impressed. The roads were well paved and the traffic flowed.

Our first stop from Amman was Jerash, a well preserved architectural site. It was exquisite and our guide well versed in its history.

Entrance Gate to Jerash

Beyond the entrance were paved streets, temples and a Roman theater. The pictures tell the story with more grandeur than my words.

Back of Entrance Gate showing beginning of Jerash
Roman theater
Temple Gates

Jerash also had a museum explaining the area’s history. Included were some well preserved statutes and heads. This is must see for your visit.

Female Head – Isn’t she gorgeous..


From here we made our way to the Temple of Hercules at the Citadel. What a view of the city.

Temple

Once back at ground level we stopped at a 6000 seat auditorium still in use today.

6000 seat theater

We had a few moments for retail therapy after this site and I found my go to souvenir. I always buy a doll dressed in native garb. Little did I know Barbie also comes in a hijab. Here she is.

Sorry you have to turn the screen. I think by now most know I have TDD, Technology Deficit Disease. Something new for the DSM. Ha! Ha!

Getting there: Jordan

This was a feat and I recommend anyone traveling with a tour company make their own plane reservations for this locale. Too late I found of my 7 hour layover in Cairo Airport before connecting to Jordan and a 4 am departure flight. Costs for airline changes are exorbitant. With little to do or even places to sit comfortably in Cairo Airport it was a long wait. I hung out at the Food Village, a food court.

Also, the Cairo welcoming staff were not too welcoming. However, keep your smile as Queen Alia Airport, the next step on the journey, is more user-friendly.

From Cairo Airport to Queen Alia Airport takes 2 hours with a one hour time change. The drive to Amman was 45 minutes and our car was filled with delightful European millennials who joked the entire ride. This was different from my Japan trip where the ride was with acerbic Americans who played the game who has been on more trips. What a relief! It’s a different day.

We arrived at the Amman Guest House at 11 pm. While a bit noisy and breakfast 2 star the staff was pleasant and helpful. I quickly went to bed as they pray here 5 times a day and 4 am is wake up prayer. While they have APs for this they continue the ancient method which is quite disconcerting however we are visitors.

Tomorrow the nuts and bolts of the trip shall begin.

Jordan Here I come!

Following is how I prepped for my April 2019 Jordan trip. Hope you gain some insights as I clue you in on my journey along the way. Keep reading!

I began this adventure with packing. Clothing was my first concern as with climate change one never knows what to expect. I usually pack two weeks prior then check out the temps the day before departure to ensure I’ve got it right.

As of this writing on 3/27 temperatures are predicted to be 66 to 75 farenheit, (celcius 19 to 24). Nights are cooler so I’m bringing a fleece, a light coat with liner, heavy socks and gloves for outer wear.

Coverage of shoulders, cleavage and knees are a must in Jordan. No t-shirts with questionable logos and light colors can be worn however avoid bright colors. Cotton is the fabric go-to and loose fitting clothes are key. References to shoes vary with recommendations of both hiking boots and light sneakers with grip. I am bringing both.

Here’s a list of other essentials:

  • Sun Block
  • Bug Spray
  • Wide Brimmed Hat
  • Bandanas for back of neck or scarves
  • Light long sleeved shirt for sun protection
  • Roll of toilet paper along with plastic bags for paper disposal
  • First aid kit with strong bandaids should shoes cause a blister
  • Electrolyte pills but need questionable and cost can be prohibitive
  • Prescription medicine packed well with extras
  • Lip Balm
  • Swimwear for the Dead Sea
  • Travel towels – baby wipes
  • For the Wadi Rum overnight – sleeping bag liner , head torch to light the way, a book to read in case no wi-fi at the camp. And, here’s where the socks and gloves help for the cold nights.
  • Insulated water bottle – in reading the literature folks differ on drinking the local water. I am always careful and aim for bottled.
  • Nuts, granola bars and items that are heat resistant. As a solo traveler I bring my American version of snacks and let my fellow travelers test the local fare first. If they don’t get a belly ache I’ll give it a go, but traveling solo with no back up is a chore if you get sick..
  • Camera, passport with many pages and 6 months to expiration
  • Cell phone with portable charger.
  • Currency for exchange – can be done in airports and ATMS are available, but don’t leave home without currency. The Jordan Dinar is their currency. As of 3/27 1.41 USD = 1 Jordanian Dinar.

Safety Concerns..

While I am known to be fearless I have checked many sites regarding the safety of this area. In each site or blog tourists stated how safe they felt in Jordan. Sites do say to remove yourself at any sign of disturbance and steer clear of student centers or colleges where protests are known to happen. Friday prayer afternoon was stated as a likely time for volatility. However, I will remain vigilant yet not paranoid and for us single ladies wear a wedding ring.

A Must Have: The Jordan Pass..

The Jordan Pass includes your visa and admission to the historic sites. It’s reasonable and easily purchased on line. Purchase it prior to leaving.

Keep reading.. I promise I’ll keep you amused…

All this fun stuff was based on my readings and research. Once there I will give you the low down on what was accurate and what was missing to make your trip even more enjoyable.

CBS All Access

I am addicted to CBS All Access and I hold no shame. I am up to date on Stephen Colbert, 48 Hours, CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, Blue Bloods and Madame Secretary. When I think of trying other services I don’t know how I’d fit them into my schedule. While this may sound like a commercial, and I suppose it is, it consumes me. I still haven’t figured out if this is good or not but it gives this retiree something to do besides blogs and travel.

Recently, I began to watch The Good Fight with Christine Baranski. I had tried to watch it before but started with the current season and was confused. Once I saw Christine on Stephen, (we are all on a first name basis), I decided to commit and have begun watching the show from Season 1. It’s captivating and each night as I watch episode after episode I find myself checking the clock and it’s 3 am. I am grateful I only have 10 more shows for catch up as I’ll ruin my sleep cycle if it goes any longer.

Diane Lockhart is quite a chick and it’s wonderful to see strong women portrayed on television. This gives hope to our future female generations and something to aspire to. And who knows maybe America will even have the courage to elect a female president in the next round.

It’s Kathleen and if you don’t like what I say it’s still Kathleen..

Epcot Flower Show

I am a flower person and was delighted to attend the Epcot Flower Show this year. It runs through June 3rd and if you have the chance, GO!! Here’s a few highlights to wet your palate.

Baby Pandas playing while Mom watches
Momma Panda Solo

Pandas are my favorite creatures and China’s display certainly did them justice.

And of course we have royalty

Thanks Disney staff for the beautiful creations on this spectacular visit.

twitter closed me down

Recently I received a message from twitter saying they closed my account. I found this odd as I never had a twitter account or so I think?. At one point I came across their web site and looked it over but never initiated anything. Perhaps they did it for me? Well, now it’s closed and no further action for me to take. What a relief.

Frankly, I am not a fan. It’s a rather scary operation in my mind. I suppose it has its place but I haven’t figured that out. Maybe someday someone will explain it to me, however for now I am content to be twitter done.

It’s Kathleen, and if you don’t like what I say it’s still Kathleen.

Caveat: Capitalization done intentionally. This service does not deserve capitalization.

Drones

My Visitor

Today I received a voicemail message from my electrical company stating they are sending a Drone to check my equipment. What is this world coming to? I always like company, but a drone? They left a forwarding number for further explanation but I am unsure what questions to ask. Here’s what is running through my mind…

  • Will the drone knock on the door?
  • Is the drone coming in for a visit?
  • Should I invite it in for tea?
  • Should I dress for the visit?
  • Should there be any paperwork associated with the visit, how shall I sign it?

I hope you have had a laugh as have I. In fact, I anxiously await my visitor.

Since this power company keeps my bills to $30 a month I won’t question this further. I know these folks are planners and are destroying the environmentally destructive power plants and building clean energy operations so I applaud them. In this transition they have even planned to take care of the manatees who in the winter swim near the former plants for warmth, but more important they are thinking of our future generations.

I’m sure the drones will be friendly and do I dare ask, “Oh technology, what is next?”

It’s Kathleen, and if you don’t like what I say it’s still Kathleen.