Jordan, 25th March - 2nd April 2006

Having seen a slide show of Petra, we really fancied going there and seeing it for ourselves. We reckoned that a week in Jordan would be enough to do this and to see a few other things whilst we were there.

Outside our hotel, the Al Anbat, at Wadi Musa, on our first morning. We had arrived at Queen Alia Airport (Amman) just a few hours earlier, travelled here by taxi, and arrived in time to get 3 hours sleep before our first day

 

The road to the start of the Petra Siq

 

The Triclinium

 

Inside the Siq

 

A wee red bird

 

The Treasury

 

A marketplace at the end of the Siq

 

The view from the High Place

 

The Treasury from above

 

Us on a ledge high above the Treasury

 

From inside a carved dwelling

 

We went to Little Petra that evening, a small town carved into the hills above Petra. Here is some painting on a roof there

 

In Little Petra, with Manish and Sangeeta with whom we had toured part of Petra that morning

 

Canyons in the hills by Little Petra

 

Next morning - in Wadi Al Mudhlim, a side canyon off the Siq

 

A camel, possibly trying to decide whether or not to spit

 

The Monastery (Ed Deir)

 

A pair of skittish lizards

 

The view from Jebel umm al 'Amr

 

Domes on Jebel Khubtha - we scrambled up this hill on our second afternoon

 

The Treasury from a viewpoint across the Siq to the North, on the flanks of Jebel umm al 'Amr

 

Another taxi took us to the visitor centre at Wadi Rum, leaving us to hitch along the road to Wadi Rum village

 

We took a 4 hour camel ride in the afternoon after we got settled into Wadi Rum village. This poor man walked the whole way leading our camels! We're taking a break here to look into a canyon in Jebel Khazali

 

The next day we booked a lift in a jeep to take us round try to climb Jebel Rum. Unfortunately it was overcast, with cloud covering the summits, and it looked like it might rain. We opted for a jeep tour of the nearby desert instead, and didn't miss the opportunity to pose for a cheesey photo on this rock bridge

 

Cracks in some dried up mud

 

We retreated back to our room at Mohammed Sabah's hostel for a while, to escape the constant (and genuinely friendly) offers to join people for tea

 

It cleared up in the afternoon, so we went for a scramble through the nearby Rakabat Canyons. This is the approach

 

This ledge is little more than a walk, but it slopes outwards (to the left of the photo) above a 100' drop

 

In the Rakabat Canyons - the route wound around to find the line of least resistance, and was mostly walking with some scrambling up to about Diff on short sections. These canyons, completely hidden from below, cut right through the heart of Jebel um Ishrin and emerge in the desert at the other side

 

Leaving the Rakabat Canyons

 

Sand dunes at the other side (part of Jebel um Ishrin looming on the right)

 

We got up early again the next day and got a lift in the jeep again for another attempt at Jebel Rum. The weather was very much better, but I was coming down with something nasty. This is a short distance up by the Thamudic Way, a little after the scrambling began. I vomited about half an hour later, and spent the rest of the day very dehydrated and with the runs - that'll teach me not to refill my water bottle from the tap!

 

Amongst the domes, the summit to the back. The route to here had involved some interesting scrambling up a canyon (up to V Diff), then along some easy but very exposed ledges, then more gullies and slabs to about Diff, then onto the summit 'plateau' - a complex area of sandstone domes and chasms.

 

Slabby domes

 

Made it! Apparently the flag was painted by King Hussein himself, who was flown up by helicopter to do it

 

Traversing 'mini-deserts' and domes on Hammad's Route, heading back down. The descent involved some interesting routefinding across and between the domes, with some chasms to be jumped and a huge area of domed slabs to descend on friction - some of it quite exposed. After this there were more domes, then a series of abseils into the Great Siq

 

Don't fall in! The water was stagnant and full of beasties. There was an entertaining V Diff downclimb above a pool at one point

 

A happy moment - getting to the bottom of the final '40m abseil', after 3 abs and some interesting antics (we had one 60m rope!) The difficulties are almost over at this point - just an exposed gully, ledge and groove (Diff / V Diff) to downclimb to reach the screes

 

Saying bye to the camels! We took a taxi to Amman the next day...

 

...stopping off for a dip in the Dead Sea, of course!

 

We finished with a quiet day in Amman, including a fascinating 2 hour chat with a pharmacist who invited us in for tea after I bought some Immodium. This is the Roman Theatre

 

And this is a VERY big flag!

The flight home was also in the early hours of the morning, so after dinner we caught a bus back to the airport.

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