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Unread 9 Feb 20, 03:11 PM  
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Gunna
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Mobile Jordan & Petra - 5th February - Little Petra, The Baptism Site & The Dead Sea.

We had another early start today as we had arranged to meet Khaled at 8:00 for our drive back up towards Amman and our final night at the Dead Sea. We filled up at breakfast and enjoyed the help yourself honeycomb which was there to add to whatever you wished. I certainly had plenty of it and it tasted delicious.



We met up with Khaled and said a sad farewell to Petra and started the drive north. Khaled told us he had another surprise stop for us and after 20 minutes we pulled into a small car park at Little Petra. This area is still part of the main Petra site but is some way from the main part and therefore isnt visited as much. You still enter through a siq although this is much smaller and come out into an area with carvings and a small temple which gives the area its title of Little Petra.




We bumped into a group of French girls who we met at the monastery yesterday and had a quick chat before we saw signs advertising a great view so followed them which then resulted in another climb uphill that soon became a bit of a scramble over the rocks.



It was nowhere near as far as the climb up to the monastery and soon enough we came upon a view which looked out over a rocky valley where the sun was really starting to bring out the colours of the sandstone.




After we had enjoyed the view we climbed back down and wandered through the canyon back to meet up with Khaled who was waiting for us to head off to our next stop. We also saw some Bedouins living in the valley.



Our next stop was the baptism site and this is the location of where Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. It was a few hours drive and we first headed up across the mountains. The road was being repaired in places and was replaced with makeshifts ones, I was glad again I wasnt driving. The view as we headed over the mountains and down into the Jordan valley was stunning. It looked amazing coming across the top of the mountains.



Part way down on the road we came across a different kind of road block as some camels belonging to the Bedouins had wandered out across the road.



Khaled said it was fine for me to get out of the car to take photos and then thought it was funny to suggest Kirsty and him should drive off and leave me in the desert! Once I was back in the car we set off towards the Dead Sea. We continued to have a good chat with Khaled and he pointed out Lots Cave, whos wife was turned into a pillar of salt in the bible as well as the pathway to Gomorrah ( from Sodom & Gomorrah ) before we stopped to take in the views of the Dead Sea.





Khaled was showing us the salt deposits which you could see collecting along the waters edge as well as telling us how the sea is receding and also how it could disappear altogether if it continues by 2050. The weather had got noticeably warmer the further we dropped down so we where looking forward to relaxing on the beach later.

We reached the baptism site just before 11:30 and purchased our tickets. Due to the location close to the Israel border and military presence you had to be taken there by guide on a shuttle bus so we waited for the next tour at midday. This turned out to be just us and the guide and soon enough we came upon the place where Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan.



The course of the river has altered over the years and no longer flows into this area although there was some water there at the base of the steps. It was a place I was really glad I saw. From going to Sunday school as a child and listening to the stories of Moses, Jesus and various bible tales to stand in the place where the baptism took place was really special.

We then walked to the actual river which forms the border between Jordan and Israel. The border here was just one of those lane separators you see in the swimming pool with floats on it but due to the police and guards present I wouldnt of attempted to swim over. On the Israel side there was loads of people dipping themselves into the river, singing and celebrations, there was only us on the Jordan side so I headed down to dip my hands in the water.



We then visited the church here before heading back to the shuttle and the main car park to meet back up with Khaled. It was then just a short drive to the Dead Sea and our hotel for our last night, the Holiday Inn resort. Khaled bagged us another upgrade and we arranged to meet up at 5:00am to head to the airport for our flight back to London. We sorted a breakfast box for the journey and booked an evening meal in the restaurant and then went to get changed into our swimming gear and headed to the beach.



We could see what Khaled meant about the water receding as we passed through an old beach area then down to the current one, we found a lounger than headed to the mud pots. There where two huge pots of Dead Sea mud and you were free to cover yourself from head to toe ( there was no additional cost ) and then you left it to dry in the sun. You could feel it start to tighten a bit as it did.



It felt weird covering yourself in mud and due to the rejuvenating properties I hoped that it may even help the hair grow back on my head. Once it had dried we headed in for a float.



The mud soon washed off and we had a good float and chill in the water. It was quite warm but felt strange and trying to swim or put your legs down wasnt easy. If you got any of it near your mouth or in your eyes you could certainly tell the increased salt content in it. It felt a bit oily to me but not unpleasant at all. After an hour or two floating we headed back to our room and got showered and changed for dinner.



We watched the sunset over Israel and the Dead Sea from the balcony and watched as the lights came on in Jerusalem up in the hills. I dont know if skin felt smoother, my hair still hasnt grown back but it was a great experience and one Im really glad we did. We enjoyed a lovely meal before calling it a day and heading back to the room. Wed packed earlier so could head to bed for our early start home, alarm set for 4:00am. We where both sad to be leaving Jordan, we had really fallen in love with the place in the short time we had been here.
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 04:57 PM  
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Sparksy72
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Another brilliant day, with a camel traffic jam! How awesome to have swum in the Dead Sea too. The sunset is truly spectacular- how lucky to be able to enjoy it.
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 06:38 PM  
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What a brilliant trip it has been. Swimming in the Dead Sea is such an awesome thing to have done!
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 07:47 PM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by Sparksy72 View Post
Another brilliant day, with a camel traffic jam! How awesome to have swum in the Dead Sea too. The sunset is truly spectacular- how lucky to be able to enjoy it.
Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
What a brilliant trip it has been. Swimming in the Dead Sea is such an awesome thing to have done!
Swimming in the Dead Sea was a weird but fantastic experience. Really happy to have been able to experience it.
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 12:38 PM  
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Tinkermom
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Ive read so many trip reports recently (due to being stuck in bed unwell) but yours is by far my favourite, Ive always fancied going but now Im completely drawn in. What an amazing place, thank you so much for sharing.
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 12:59 PM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by Tinkermom View Post
Ive read so many trip reports recently (due to being stuck in bed unwell) but yours is by far my favourite, Ive always fancied going but now Im completely drawn in. What an amazing place, thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you so much for the feedback and I hope you feel better soon.

It is a place Ive wanted to visit for a long time and it didnt disappoint at all. Think it will always be one of my travelling highlights. It really is a fascinating and amazing country and the people are so friendly. Id happily recommend it to everyone and Im sure well go back again.
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Unread 15 Feb 20, 09:11 AM  
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What a wonderful place to visit - I can imagine it was quite special to visit the River Jordan and then swim in the Dead Sea.
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Unread 15 Feb 20, 02:13 PM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by CrispyA View Post
What a wonderful place to visit - I can imagine it was quite special to visit the River Jordan and then swim in the Dead Sea.
Jordan will always be one of my travelling highlights - certainly didnt disappoint, the sights where amazing. We only really scratched the surface and definitely need to head back to see some more.
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