Jordan - HT Wandelreizen - September / October 2007

Below you will find a long list of pictures (approximately 110), taken on the Jordan trip organized by HT Wandelreizen from September 22 to October 6 2007.
The most interesting images will have a red bullet in front of them. In a hurry? Just want to see the pictures? Check out the slide show.
The days we were walking we kept track of how much time we spent walking. This is excluding the time for breaks.

September 22: Home - Ajlun

Around 15.30 we met the rest of the group at Schiphol Airport. We flew from Amsterdam to Amman with Royal Jordanian. It was around 23.30 local time when we landed. From Amman we took a mini-bus to Ajlun.

September 23: Wadi Yabis

After breakfast we drove downtown to get some water and JDs (short for Jordanian Dinars). Then we drove on to Wadi Yabis. When we got out of the bus we met some locals carrying crates with figs. They offered us some - very tasty! Wadi Yabis was a small taste of what was to come in the rest of our holiday: sheep, goats, rock and some green plants near the small stream. In the stream we saw some frogs, crabs and small fish. During the lunch break Arjen was stung by a wasp. We arrived at the other side of the Wadi around 5.30pm. From there it was an hour's drive back to the hotel. We took a shower. After diner (very nice: rice, chicken, many vegetables) we read a bit and then went to sleep.
This day we walked approximately 4h00m.

September 24: Jerash, Madaba and Wadi Bin Hamad

After breakfast we left Ajlun and headed for Jerash, the ruins of a Roman city. Many gates, churches, temples and a mosaic floor have been very well preserved. We lunched at the nearby "Green Valley Restaurant". As usual, lunch was an abundance of vegetables, bread and Humus (here's a recipe for Humus). After that we drove to Madaba. In St. Georges Church we saw a mosaic of a biblical map. Then we drove on to Wadi Bin Hamad where we would stay the night.

September 25: Wadi Bin Hamad, Karak, Campsite near Wadi Numeyra

Many flies joined us for breakfast... After that we put on our water shoes and started walking through Wadi Bin Hamad. The water of the stream was quite warm, quite a contrast with the stream we had to walk through on our Patagonian trip. On the sides of the gorge there were palms. A couple of times we walked underneath natural bridges. At the end of the Wadi we turnned around and walked back.
After lunch we drove to Karak. Here we saw the ruins of a Crusader castle. After a visit to the museum in the ruins we drove to a campsite near Wadi Numeyra. In the distance we had a good view of the Dead Sea. After dinner, Ibrahim (our Jordanian guide) had a present for us: a bottle of Arak. A local alcoholic drink which tastes a bit like the Greek drink Ouzo.
This day we walked approximately 2h00m.

September 26: Wadi Numeyra, Dana

From the camping spot we walked steeply down to Wadi Numeyra. From there it was a slow descent. Wadi Numeyra was a wide gorge were we started, but it got narrower as we walked in the direction of the Dead Sea. At some points it was only 1.5 meter (5 ft.) wide with the walls, beautifully coloured yellow, red, pink, orange and sometimes even purple, towering some 200 meter (650 ft.) above us. Here we saw some natural bridges too.
In the afternoon we arrived at the exit of the Wadi near the Dead Sea where our bus was already waiting for us. From there we drove to Dana.
This day we walked approximately 4h15m.

September 27: Dana National Park

From Dana we walked into Dana National Park. DNP is very dry with hardly any plants. We ate our lunch in the Feynan Lodge and then walked on to the campsite.
For dinner the crew prepared a special meal. A hole in the ground was filled with wood. That was set on fire. When it was no longer burning with flames, chicken and lamb was put on top, as well as potatoes and vegetables and fish in aluminum foil. The hole was then closed and sealed. After about 90 minutes it was opened again and our dinner was ready. Absolutely delicious!
After dinner we listened to some music, watched the stars and drank some Arak.
This day we walked approximately 4h00m.

September 28: Dana National Park

This day we walked into a beautiful Wadi again. It started wide and became very narrow near the end. Again the colours were very beautiful. The stream sometimes went underground (strange to see how the water just disappeared into the sand, to come out again a few meters downstream). At the end we took a shortcut to the campsite. A nice but steep climb with some wonderful views.
After we had put up our tent Arjen walked up the hill behind the campsite to get an even better view of the beautiful surroundings.
This day we walked approximately 4h35m.

September 29: Around Shobak Castle

When we woke up, we were in the clouds. We drove to Shobak Castle (already partly restored). We walked down the very steep and dark secret passage (don't forget a flashlight if you ever go there). From the castle we walked in the direction of Wadi Araba. We visited some villages. At the end of the day, Patricia wasn't feeling well and when we found out that the spot we thought was our campsite, was actually still an hour's walk from the real spot, we decided to ask for the cars to take us to the campsite. Moussa (our cook) made some special tea for Patricia which helped a lot.
This day we walked approximately 4h00m.

September 30: To Little Petra

Patricia was feeling well again, but now Arjen was ill. After vomiting during the first break he was feeling a bit better, but very tired. When we reached Little Petra, he stayed behind while the rest of the group walked around. After they returned the whole group drove to the campsite. After more of Mousdsa's special tea, Arjen was feeling better again.
This day we walked approximately 3h00m.

October 1: Petra

After breakfast we walked to the rear entrance of Petra. On the way we had some great views. We entered the site near the Al-Deir monastry. Very impressive! Then we walked to the center of the site. On the way we saw the Lion Triclinium. We visited the Al-Habis museum and then we had lunch. After lunch we visited a temple, the market, some tombs and the theater before we arrived at the stunning Al-Khazneh (the Treasury), well know from the Indiana Jones movie "The Last Crusade". We walked through the Siq to the main entrance. From there we took a taxi to the hotel. After dinner we joined Karsten, a German travelling through Jordan on his own, for a drink in one of the few places where they served beer.
This day we walked approximately 1h40m.

October 2: Petra

After a very early wake-up call from the nearby mosque, we had an early breakfast. We took a taxi to Petra and headed for the Treasury again. We went via the facades street towards the theater. From there we went uphill towards Jebel Madbah and the high place of sacrifice. From there we had a fantastic view of the site. At that point it became clear how big the site actually is. As far as the eye can see there are tombs in the rocks! During the descent we saw many beautiful tombs and the Lion's Fountain. We had lunch and then the afternoon for ourselves. We decided to go to the church (which has a very well preserved mosaic floor) and the royal tombs. Via the Treasury and the Siq we went back to the entrance.

October 3: Wadi Rum

After 2 hours by car, we arrived in Wadi Rum, the famous rock-desert. We were dropped under one of the natural arches. We walked during the hottest hours of the day. It was quite hot, also throughout the evening. The campsite was a very nice spot. We stayed outside the tent untill late, watching the stars.
This day we walked approximately 2h35m.

October 4: Wadi Rum

Arjen got up early to watch the sunrise on Wadi Rum. He climbed a hill near the campsite from where he had a great view of the rising sun. After breakfast we packed our tent (for the last time) and started walking. The sand had many different colours from yellow to red, pink and purple. After lunch we said goodbye to Moussa and his aide who had provided us with excellent food throughout the trip. Half of the group decided to take the car to go to the campsite. We decided to walk the last part. Just as we arrived there, we had a few drops of rain. The campsite had a bunch of permanent tents. Unfortunately they had permanent residents too: mosquitos...
This day we walked approximately 4h15m.
This makes for a total of 34h20m for this holiday!

October 5: Red Sea, Dead Sea, Amman

A busy day... We went by bus to a spot at the shore of the Red Sea, just south of Aqaba. Patricia went snorkling for a while. Next we drove all the way up to Amman. On the way over there we stopped at the Dead Sea for a swim - make that a float :) - a funny experience...

October 6: Amman - Amsterdam

Ibrahim who had been a fantasic guide, joined us for the ride to the airport. There we said goodbye to him. We had a good flight from Amman to Amsterdam. We said goobye to everybody and took the train and bus back home. At home, Arjen decided to see if he'd lost any weight. He went from 80 to 76 kg.