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Jordan was easily one of the most beautiful countries that I have ever visited. It was also one of the more expensive countries. As I am Indian, and hence a miser, I left as soon as I could, but it would have been nice to hang about for a bit.
On my first day I tried to enter Israel and the Occupied Territories, but I had to turn back at passport control. They were going to stamp my passport with their stamp thingy, thus preventing me from travelling to Sudan later on. They were kind, still did the 1 hour security check, and then asked me to wait outside for a bus back to Jordan. After another hour of waiting I then had an argument with an idiot of a border security guard who proceeded to call backup and have me surrounded and then body searched. I'm not going to go into it now, but I don't think I have even been so abused in my life...and I'm a Forest fan. I was shocked at how I was treated (they swore at me a lot), though one nice guy did apologise and smooth things over. Anyway, I digress. I went back to Jordan with several people who had been denied entry and an American (don't know how he didn't get into trouble with the abuse he was giving them) who "didn't want their f**king filthy stamp in his passport(he was going to Gaza)."
The next day myself and 2 people from my hotel headed to the Dead Sea. Being the saltiest sea in the world it was cool floating on the surface. It was not cool when Paul, one of the guys from the hotel, and I tried to touch the bottom of the sea. We got salt in our eyes and were blinded. We had to paddle ourselves back to the shore and then hunt for the showers...and we couldn't open our eyes because they hurt like a camel's diarrhea. It was all good fun though, and we ended up spending hours there (until a beautiful sunset), before hitching a ride back to Amman, the Jordanian capital.
Drinking in Amman is expensive.
The next day I took it easy, and then met up with a friend from university. A big-up to Lina for showing me around the city with her friend Tmara (say tomorrow with an American accent and that's how you say her name). Saw the whole city, as well as being entertained at a posh coffee shop. Had a seriously chilled out wicked time.
I was back to early morning wake-ups the next day, getting an early bus to Petra in the south. Remember that cool temple in the 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'? Well, this is where it was. And it was amazing. As was the whole site, which was massive. I stayed there for hours, until an hour after sunset. A big up to Nathan who stayed behind with me in the site after closing hours and after sunset(I'm scared of the dark you see) and who also showed me how to take great night sky pictures. I could not have taken the cool star pictures on my "picture page" without his help.
Another early morning wake-up and I was headed for Wadi Rum, the desert. The beginning of the tour was boring, but things only got better as the day went on. The desert scenery was really something.
Our guide was called Zidane and he was a semi-traditional Bedouin who was a chain smoker and was often on his mobile phone. He entertained us over a traditional Bedouin dinner in the camp at night and was a wicked host. Later on I sat by the fire drinking tea with Zidane's Bedouin nephew. Don't think I'll ever do that again.
Most people (8 in the group) went to sleep indoors at 9:30 (don't know how they could to be honest) but 2 of us slept outside in the freezing cold watching shooting stars and seeing the millions of stars in the night sky, invisible in and near cities and towns. It was scintillating and it was difficult to sleep, knowing that tomorrow I wouldn't be able to do this (and if you know me you know I'm a star man).
The next day there was another early wake-up, a truck breakdown, some camels and then a several hours interim period before I finally reached the port at Aqaba. From here I took the gruelling (from start to finish) 16 hour ferry to Nuweiba in Egypt.
Jordan had been amazing, but it was good to be back in backpacker-land, where things were so much cheaper. I will definitely go back there when I'm older.