Monday, July 20, 2009

Mt. Nebo, Dead sea, Kerak Castle

We left the hotel at 8am after a breakfast of pita and boiled egg. We
headed to Mt Nebo in a minibus with our guide Osama. He is a
university trained tour guide and studied antiquities as well. He is
very funny and keeps us entertained on the driving part of the journey
with Arabic lessons, and a fashion show of head wear ( kufiya -sp?).

We got to Mt. Nebo, the site where Moses stood to see the promised
land. From there we had a great view of the dead sea and Jordan river
and across to Jericho in Israel. We saw mosaics on display as well.
There was a church there too dedicated to Lot, but it was being
restored so we couldn't go too close.

Next we drove to the Dead Sea to swim at a resort. It was actually
impossible to swim, it was so salty that you could only float. We got
positioned vertically in the water and were able to bounce up and down
in the water like on a trampoline. It tasted salty sour and bitter.
Someone said it is 30% salt. It is dropping by a metre a year since
people are damming the Jordan and it is hotter and evaporation is

We floated for a long time while others got slathered in mud by the
lifeguard (who was enjoying being around so many bikini-clad women).

We showered and ate a good big buffet lunch and tried a varity of
jello and strange custard desserts. By far the best was the watermelon.

We drove to Kerak castle next, a cruisader castle used by many
peoples before and after them. Osama toured us around and then let us
explore on our own. Having heard a passing French guide mention "un
tour" we knew that we'd have fun climbing up to see the view from the
top of the tower which was great. Clare and I joined up with Lauren, a
tour-mate of ours, for this further exploration.

Now we are driving across miles of desert. It's amazing how flat it is
in some places and how hilly it is in others. We are headed for Petra
where Clare and I have signed up for a candle light walk through the
canyon into Petra.

Sent from my iPod

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