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Jordan in Pictures

  With ancient ruins, towering rock formations and landscapes so out-of-this-world they’ve featured in many an iconic blockbuster, a ... Read more
Jordan in Pictures

With ancient ruins, towering rock formations and landscapes so out-of-this-world they’ve featured in many an iconic blockbuster, a tour of Jordan is an unforgettable experience. Kit Wilkinson had the pleasure of visiting one of the Middle East’s most thrilling destinations on a whirlwind tour last year, where he encountered many of its iconic highlights. He’s also pretty nifty with a camera, so here’s a selection of some of his best shots, which stunningly capture Jordan’s unique mix of adventure and culture.

We started out at Um Qais with its mix of Roman and Ottoman ruins. On Jordan’s northern border with Syria, we were overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the cities of Nazareth and Tiberias (in Israel) and the southern end of the Golan Heights – a pretty amazing location.

A 25 kilometre cycle loop took us down into Jordan Valley with its irrigated farmland, surprising greenery, orange groves and rich birdlife. We saw hoopoes, pied kingfishers, barbets, egrets and a small and striking (and unidentified) falcon.

It was great to have the chance of a quick dip in the Dead Sea. A strange experience; there is so much buoyancy that you have to try really hard to keep your feet beneath you and swimming (as a result) is nearly impossible.

We had a session of canyoning in Wadi Zarqa Ma’in which involved swimming through several deep pools and a series of 3 abseils amongst spectacular limestone scenery.

At Little Petra we stayed in a Bedouin camp tucked into a canyon and sheltered by tall cliffs. Before breakfast we sat outside around this open fire drinking cup-after-cup of sweet mint tea.

Traditionally made from woven goat and camel hair, Bedouin tents provide spacious and comfortable accommodation. Most Bedouin camps now offer separate twin-share sleeping units with proper beds and bedding.

We had walked for a morning above spectacular Wadi Araba on a dirt road used by KE’s Dead 2 Red bike tour. At lunch we were treated to Bedouin bread, cooked in the ashes of the fire and still warm.

On our walk from Little Petra to Petra we met this chap and his camel, only too happy to pose for photos as he stopped to talk to our guide, Ahmed.

As you near Petra (from Little Petra) the scenery becomes increasingly impressive as the path makes its way amongst striking sandstone formations.

We stopped for a cup of coffee at a stall beside the trail to Petra. There were a few souvenirs for sale and I’m pretty sure I can see the pair of earrings I bought for my daughter in this image.

High above Petra, the Monument (Ad-Deir) is simply amazing. Fifty metres wide and fifty metres high, it beggars belief that the Nabataeans cut this thing out of the native rock around 2500 years ago.

The ‘Monastery Route’ drops down to Petra through a rocky chasm lined with souvenir stalls and tea-stalls. There’s a 220 metre difference in elevation and plenty of people coming up the trail were taking advantage of the local air-conditioned taxis (donkeys).

Apart from the Monastery, the most elaborate and well-known of Petra’s rock-cut facades is this one, the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), which stands opposite the usual entrance to Petra through the narrow, one kilometre-long cleft known as the Siq.

Arriving at Wadi Rum as the sun was setting, we had a mad dash in our 4WD vehicles to get to this viewpoint close to our Bedouin camp.

The red sand and red sandstone peaks (known as jebels) of Wadi Rum together create one of the world’s special landscapes. The Bedouin people have lived in this area for millennia and have traditionally been almost totally dependent on their camels.

A couple of hundred metres above the desert floor, the rock arch known as the Burdah Bridge is one of the landmarks of Wadi Rum, accessible to anyone with a sense of adventure.

When I had last been to Wadi Rum with the first KE group more than a decade ago, this chap, Attayak Aouda, had been my guide. It was great to bump into him again on the hike up to the Burdah Bridge.

Having hiked up to the Burdah Bridge, we descended via an alternative route which our guide, Attilah, referred to as the ‘the slope’. Great fun and with sensational views, it was important to follow the guide.

We had a final night at the Red Sea port of Aqaba and an evening walk through the souk with its spice stalls, seafood cafes and colourful shops like this one selling nuts, biscuits and confectionary.

To find out more about experiencing Jordan or our other incredible adventures, call us on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415

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