Monday, February 18

Transjordan, Day Four: The King's Highway

For our remaining time in Jordan we had decided to hire a driver for a pretty decent 100 JD a day. To make the most of this resource we made an early start this morning and were out by 6am.

The driver himself was an interesting guy. Palestinian in origin, he recounted to us how he had swum across the Jordan river in 1967 after his army orders had changed from fight to flee. With a wry smile he described it as the "Six Hour War".

Our first stop was at Mount Nebu, the place from which the Prophet Moses was said to have been told by God to look over the Promised Land. We kind of managed to see Jerusalem, a good 42km away although we may have been totally mistaken too. Hmm.

After that we stopped off at Madaba, the mosaic capital of Jordan. We didn't actually request this stop (it was another stitch up) but since everyone made use of the opportunity to see mosaics being made and to buy gifts we weren't too upset.

Further South and we took some time marvelling at the Mujib Valley, a place offering some fantastic views if not much else. this was followed by a distant viewing of the crusader castle at Karak and the tombs of some Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) at Mazar, martyrs from the famous battle of Mu'tah also nearby.

Throughout the journey we were treated to some more stunning views of Jordanian land. We were lucky actually - we had been told it would snow all over Jordan during our time there but we had yet to see any ourselves; although apparently the white stuff had fallen in Amman as we left. It was around 14 degrees where we were though.

We eventually made it to Wadi Rum, where we were to spend the night. As part of the lodging fee we were given a ride in a pick up truck across the desert, stopping off at a rock bridge, a huge sand dune and a gorge. Pictures of all three can be found here.

After dark, the rest of the evening was spent chilling out in a Bedouin tent. I'm not sure how genuine the whole set up was (our host was on his mobile for a lot of the time), but it was nice if a bit chilly. The stars were in full view, and it was good to finally be able to relax around a fire, playing cards with our co-campers with live music playing in the background.