A most beautiful and amazing country, incredibly friendly people. We did so much I've forgotten half of it already! I will definitely be returning later in the year.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The first glimpse of the sunlit Treasury from the shady siq.
The Dead sea....what fun!
The view from Mount Nebo. I'm not religious in any way but to see the promised land first hand was rather cool.
But the best of the best was, without a doubt, Wadi Rum. I MUST go back, it is just indescribibly wonderful!
- What did you think of your group leader?
Most excellent. Very smart and knowledgeable.
I'm sure being a guide must be very trying at times; constant questions that one has answered a thousand times before.
'I need to go to the toilet' cropped up quite a bit too from various people.
Thanks for everything Yousef, especially your patience!
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
- Like the sign at Amman beach (the Dead sea) says, 'Do not get water in your eyes!' I was fooling around (like a... well...fool) for a photo and ended up going completely upside down under the water, both my eyes and my nose filled with water, I have rarely experienced so much pain. Do not, under any circumstances, try and grab hold of your own ankles, it will only end in tears....literally!
- The Mount Nebo red (wine of the Holy land) is not at all bad.
- If you go to the Cave Bar (near Petra Visitors' centre). Be aware of the extra taxes that will be added to your bill (26% I believe).
- Take rehydration sachets and Immodium plus.
- Wadi Rum - Don't pack too much for the night in Wadi Rum, you won't need it. Do take lots of water (especially as you may feel a bit worse for wear the following morning). If you take wine make sure you also take a corkscrew and some plastic cups. Oh, and there is nowhere to keep drinks cold. The desert makes for a very bumpy ride, the open top 4x4s are perfect for the job but it is obviously not going to be the air conditioned luxury that some people are used to.
- Smoke a Hookah (water pipe)!! I thoroughly recommend the cherry flavour tobacco.
- Have a Turkish bath in Wadi Musa afer a hard day's walking in hot, dusty Petra. Be prepared however to not be prudish! No sarongs (or even bikinis) allowed here! Actually they do let you keep your bikini bottoms on, but that's it.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
So much to say, so litte time. I just loved it. One of the best holidays I have ever had (and I've been around).......
The group was just brilliant. Eveyone (and I mean everyone) was so utterly nice. We were freely discussing our bowel movements by the end of the trip! I don't think it would have been the same if the group hadn't been so lovely. It might be worth asking Exodus about the group composition before you book (they can't give out details but I believe thet can tell you age ranges etc).
If I had one minor criticism it would be the last day. We went to a weird craft place in the middle of knowhere, drunk some tea and got shown a small factory where local women make pottery. Why?
Oh, one other small thing, it would have been lovely to go to Mount Nebo to watch the sunset on the way back to Madaba from the dead sea (as we were passing right by). That would have freed up part of the next day to visit somewhere else. Having said that, maybe it is not even open at that time of day.
Also, it might have been nice to visit Bethany beyond the Jordan (the baptism site) too but hey, we did far too many good things to worry about that,
Anyway, enough ramble; suffice it to say that, if you are in a position to, just go. You may think 'Oh, I'll do it next year' but who knows what next year may hold....... JUST DO IT!