The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a superlative country. The rock town Petra is rich in history, the desert Wadi Rum has wonderful rock formations and the Dead Sea seeks their equal unsuccessful.
We visit Jordan at a time where the neighbor country Syria is war-torn and refugee camps in the East belong to everyday life. That’s why we meet only a few European tourists on our journey through this storybook land. Completely decelerated we explore the rock town Petra, which can be very crowded but we were lucky with only few tourists. About 2,000 years ago Hebrews pound the city into the red, surreal sandstone walls. Then the Romans came and now we stand here. We are deeply impresses and glad that the glory surrounding us belongs to the UNESCO world heritage.
Unfortunately the constructors of the city were very fit in their life. instead of elevators spoiled tourists can only find thousands of stairs carved into the stone. After several hours those stairs strain our bodies to the limit. It hurts here and there and mainly everywhere. The return to our hotel is made with animal support, namely two friendly camels.
As imposing as the city Petra is, we lose our heart to a different wonder, the Wadi Rum. Seldom have we found places on earth that radiate such quiet and piece. Everyday we spend 24 hours alone in the sand and rock mountains in company of our hospitable Bedouin Fayez. Fayez steers his ancient Jeep confident through deep sand and proudly shows us his personal favorite locations. Of course everthing belongs to him.
We feel honored being able to be here and overwhelmed from the perfect nature around us.
Above us the Milky Way shines. Unintentionally, the head of our Bedouin Guide, a pitcher with 2 liters of fresh camel milk under his arm, visited us. Tomorrow is a guided individual tour through a canyon on the program. He asks again if we really want to do this tour. Why not? Strange question. The next morning we drive a few meters into a very narrow canyon. The red rock walls all around rise vertically upwards. Well, our new, very young guide will already know where to go. Ups, really up there? Incredulous we stare upwards. A joke? Unfortunately not. It will be the worst and most dangerous climbing in our live. Now we also understand the careful questioning. At some point we realize that there is no turning back because: it can not get any worse. Oh, it comes. The tour consists of jumping, pulling up, pushing and climbing.
After almost 5 hours we arrive completely exhausted on the opposite side of the 300 meter high rock mountain range. A look back and we can not believe it: there we are over it? Fayez greets us exuberantly. The Bedouins have bet, we can not do it. Well, overweight lowlanders like us are tougher than many think. And the the solution of the riddle: We booked the tour because of a photo on the Internet. Looked great. What we did not know: The explanation under the photo was wrong. Unfortunately, we did not book the tour on the photo, but the explanation under the photo. Gone stupid.
After the breakneck experience in the rock mountains of Wadi Rum we reach the Wadi Mujib and the river mouth to the Dead Sea. Oh god, the climbing goes on, but we don’t give up yet. All the bones of yesterday’s tour still hurt us. Just today the canyon is opened after months of closing because of the high water level. We are the first ones here and feel like ultimate explorers. The water goes up to our neck after 30 minutes and the strong current does not allow a comfortable walk.
Taking pictures is also a challenge, but one thing is for sure: We will come back, hopefully fitter and with a basic course in Arabic. Inscha’Allah!