Friday, June 28, 2013

Jordan Week 5

Hello,

So I thought it would be time to continue with my travels and pictures.  About time, am I right?!? So here we are - week 5!  This was basically the only time SN (she is now a graduate!! - belated congrats!! and now she is in Israel how jealous are we?? I can't wait to go back!) and I were separated during our entire time in Jordan.  She had already visited Wadi Rum with her family in the past.  Wadi, refers to a valley, and in Jordan there are some with vegetation (around a river) but others are brown.  Wadi Rum is brown - surrounded by desert and rocks (like a canyon).  Several Bedouin groups live in this Wadi, and have tent villages where tourists can come and stay in tents.  We stayed in a very touristy tent village, but there are others that are more authentic and you can stay with the locals.  They did a big show that night, with traditional food, dances, clothing and even a fake wedding ceremony.  However, I tried to not stay up too late because I had signed up with some other members of the group to go on a sunrise camel ride.

Here are the long awaited photos:

 This is one of the vents for where they cook the meat and chicken in the traditional way - underground.    It is actually pretty cool and I did not eat much because I was already queazy but I heard it was delicious!
 The bunch of us looking up over the tent village.  We had just climbed to the first level on the closest rock formation. 


 We decided to keep climbing higher and see how far we could get - I am scared of heights so I tried to stay away from any edges, which limited how high I could go, but I was still impressed with myself and hung with the group for most of it.  But I also just wanted to show what the Wadi really looked like.  It is beautiful in its own way.  


 Back in the tent village, they had started to set up for the night festivities.
 The way down off of the rock formation.  Not easy to get up but definitely even harder to get down.  
 The workers uncovering the food. It was really cool.
 After dinner, there was much "traditional" dancing and music and people from the different groups joined in.  There was even a pretend wedding and the festivities that accompany that.
 This is what the inside of the tents look like!  Nothing much but they definitely worked for the night though became a little unbearable as the sun got higher in the sky in late morning early afternoon.
 Waking up for the sunrise camel ride, and this is the view I had.  Again, I say it is just incredible!

 Of course, while the people who had us sign up for camel rides told us that two could fit on a camel, in fact only one could.  So we had to share times.  So I opted to walk the first part.  


 We took a break around the halfway point and the Bedouin that was giving us the tour made a small brush fire and made us delicious tea (probably with some cardamom in it - really delicious).   


 Sunrise.






Camel's footprints in the sand.

Our stay in Wadi Rum was short, and I did not have to organize it which was a relief because I had started to but I had chosen a different date.  While I may have done things differently, I had a great time and really enjoyed myself.  Some of the group had traveled Thursday night to Amman, I had arrived with others Friday morning, and then we had left late morning from Amman via a bus we had rented and drove to Wadi Rum.  It was several hours, though definitely not as far as Aqaba.  We stopped at a tourist spot by the Dead Sea at one point, and I was able to buy most of my gifts for people - dead sea products.  I just love that stuff.  My favorite hand lotion was from there but it is all gone now!  Ahava is the Israeli brand of dead sea products which is sold at Target and other locations as well.  Saturday we returned by the early afternoon to Amman and I traveled in the nicer area of Amman by myself before getting a ride from the Intercontinental Hotel to the bus station and then back to Irbid.  It was a good weekend. 

I am so happy that I was finally able to publish this post.  I am still working on my photos but I finally am close enough that I didn't mind finding the photos I wanted to use.  Honestly, I took quite a few photos - hundreds on each trip we went on - but thankfully most don't have people in it which is what I am organizing right now.  It jut takes some time to go through and label everyone and where the photos were taken.  

Thanks for your patience.  The next post concerning my time last summer will be about my trip with S to Israel during our vacation/break from school.  Had such an amazing time and I can't wait to share it.  Hopefully I will be able to post it sometime next week!  

Thanks for reading.

With joy,

A


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