Jordan December 2014

We went to Jordan for a week of old stuff, driving and getting lost. Tommy is 8 and has a wider range of interests in ancient civilizations and natural history and Danny is 6 and there is enough death an destruction in places like Petra to hold his interest for a while.

Where we stayed 

Hotels all had family rooms which meant we could all get in one room with up to 4 beds quite comfortably. Both the hotels we stayed in included breakfast labneh, hummus, cucumber and tomato, bread and jam, so needless the say the boys didn’t eat very much of it beyond the bread and jam.

We also stayed in a Bedouin camp which the BOYS LOVED the place was called the Rock Camp near Petra and we were the only guests. It was in a lovely spot in the desert with rocks to climb 097

and campfires to build….

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The accommodation was of course in tents and we tried two, the first one was freezing to be honest so we upgraded to a goats’s hair number that was much warmer

This was tent number 1, fine in nice weather I'm sure, but we nearly froze in December
This was tent number 1, fine in nice weather I’m sure, but we nearly froze in December
Version number 2 was great
Version number 2 was great

There were plenty of places to walk and for the boys they could get lost without too many worries. Although if I toddlers the 15 meter hole on one side of the camp might make me a bit wary of leaving them to wander around. We all went for walks through the canyon at the back of the camp which was like a mini Indiana Jones adventure in its own right

The canyon goes back far enough for a 20 minute walk each way
The canyon goes back far enough for a 20 minute walk each way

But the highlight of camp were the family that looked after us.

We all went for a walk in the canyon
We all went for a walk in the canyon
Mona and Sharoub and Mahmoud and Ramadan
Mona and Sharoub and Mahmoud and Ramadan

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Mahmoud, Mona and their daughter Ashroub and Ramadan the cook made us feel that we were friends staying there rather than paying guests. They are Egyptian Bedouins and I guess it was combination of the experience with tourists, their Bedouin culture and the fact that living in Rock Camp would make anyone chilled out. Anyway whatever the reason we had a laugh at our shonky Arabic, drank tea and sangs songs around the campfire.

What we did

We started with a trip to Karak Castle, a crusader castle featured in the Ridley Scott movie Heaven and Earth. It was easy to get to the town but less easy to find the entrance to the castle and when we did it was a bit of let down…

First, we had to take a tour guide, who had very little English, coupled with only one or two really dry information boards that had too much text for the boys to read (and for me come to that). Second, like a lot of places we saw in Jordan the whole place was run down (notwithstanding it’s a 900 year-old castle!). The boys entertained themselves picking up stones and pretending to shoot arrows through the slit windows, but really I wouldn’t go out of way to visit again.

Petra was certainly much better looked after but at the entrance price I should hope so! It was JOD80 for the two adults and the kids didn’t pay making it around US$25 a head add to that the donkey rides up the massive hill, food and drinks and I reckon we spent the best part of US$200 for really sore feet and some amazing photos. Was it worth it? For sure, but do be aware of the high cost before you go. Also with the kids do bear in mind that you’re not going to see it all. They will get old stuff fatigue and you will end up giving in and renting one of the donkeys for at least part of the day cause they just won’t be able to walk it all. I personally also got a bit tired of the hawkers, and at one point lost it with one guy, who was trying the hard camel sell on Lorena after trying it on me, so I used the Arab man line and acted offended that he dared ask my wife after me the “HUSBAND” had already said no (Lorena surprisingly didn’t punish for this presumption later, she must have been really exhausted).

Tommy’s Jordan

when I went to Kerak castle I was finding old pottery and there was lots of pottery there as for my brother he tried to find crystals surprisingly he found loads!!!

here is Danny trying to find crystals$$
here is Danny trying to find crystals$$$

Danny’s Jordan

I filled my pockets with lots and lots of crystals

my shorts almost fell down!

003this is a picture representing what we did in Jordan.

Jordan in Numbers

1 = How many cities are made from rock in Jordan

2326 = How old is Petra in years

850 = How many donkeys are in Petra

3 = How many times I climbed the rocks in Rock Camp

10 = The number of times I drank tea

1= The number of times I rode a donkey

this is me and my brother riding a donkey in Petra
this is me and my brother riding a donkey in Petra

How we did the Jordan stuff

We wrote down words connected to our holiday

Our brainstorm
Our brainstorm

Then I wrote questions based on the words and Danny drew a picture

My questions
My questionsphoto D w

Then I used Google the answer or remember from our experience.

Jordania según Mama

Fueron unas vacaciones lindas, un país pequeño lleno de monumentos muy antiguos como Petra y Jerash con sus ruinas del pueblo Romano. Mi favorito fue las caminatas de Petra, su tranquilidad e increíbles monumentos hechos de piedra, aunque muy seco y rocoso a su alrededor. Fuimos a Petra en la mañana porque los chicos estaban llenos de energía para caminar al menos algo y luego nos ayudaron los burros, pero mucha gente va en la tarde para mirar el atardecer desde el Monasterio. Seguimos con nuestro viaje hacia el norte del país y en unos cinco horas llegamos a Jerash una ciudad muy poblada, no muy interesante para nosotros porque vivimos en una ciudad musulmana. Pero si muy verde con muchos árboles de olivo. lo interesante fueron las ruinas romanas, son tan grandes que lleva un día entero para mirar todo, lamentablemente ese día hacia mucho sol, calor y solo pudimos visitar la mitad de las ruinas. Los chicos les encanto jugar a las escondidas en las ruinas.

El rio Jordano también visitamos, tomamos un tour y el guía nos mostró donde Jesús fue bautizado, por cierto en esos tiempos era de 60 metros de ancho ahora solo tiene 6 metros de ancho, continuamos al Mar muerto pero no me pareció nada especial un lago grande. La última noche nos quedamos en Madaba, muy turística y llena de tiendas con artesanías.

La comida fue deliciosa especialmente los desayunos, que los hoteles que incluyen. Tommy y Daniel no les gusto mucho pero algo comieron del arroz y pollo. El jugo de romana o pomegranate es refrescante y se puede encontrar en las esquinas a solo 1 JD o 4 AED.