Monday, August 22, 2011

Packing List Jordan

Naturally you will take with you everyday items of toiletries and clothing. Just keep in mind, Jordan is a Muslim country and conservatively dressing is recommended, guideline is to cover shoulders and knees. The following checklist should help you packing other essentials. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your luggage to a minimum.

◊ Valid Passport.
◊ Airline Ticket.
◊ Money and credit card.
◊ Travel insurance.
◊ Itinerary with contact of Petra Nights Tours.
◊ First Aid Kit.
◊ Walking shoes, especially for Petra.
◊ Bag or daypack.
◊ Swimwear.
◊ Camera with batteries/charger.
◊ Hat or scarf as protection against sun and wind.
◊ Sunglasses and sun protection.
◊ Adapter.
◊ Notepad and pen.

For longer outdoor activities like trekking and camping additionally:
◊ Hiking boots.
◊ Water bottles.
◊ Covering clothes for sun protection.
◊ Warm jacket or sweater for cooler nights.
◊ Lightweight windproof jacket.
◊ Small towel.
◊ Insect repellent.
◊ Antibacterial handwash.
◊ Trekking poles.
◊ Sewing kit.
◊ Small padlock for your trek bag.
◊ Alarm clock.
◊ Torch.
◊ Plastic bags (not to be left in Jordan).
◊ Toilet paper.
◊ Lighter/matches for burning toilet paper.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wadi Rum Jeep Tours

Wadi Rum desert, also known as Valley of the Moon, is one of the most popular destinations in Jordan. Located in the south of the country the protected area covers 720 square kilometers of dramatic wilderness with mountains, canyons, sand dunes and impressing scenery. Since June 2011 Wadi Rum is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, due to its natural beauty and cultural significance, it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Still today Bedouin tribes are living in this area. Fastest, but not environmental friendliest way to see Wadi Rum desert is by jeep, or better said off-road vehicle. Jeeps in Wadi Rum are mostly old pickup trucks with benches in the back.

The drivers stop at the landmarks, you get out and explore each for a few minutes. Popular spots are the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence's Spring (named after Lawrence of Arabia), the Khazali Canyon with rock inscriptions, large sand dunes, the rock bridges Burdah and Um Frouth, Burrah Canyon, Anfashieh rock inscriptions, the ruins of a Nabatean Temple and sunset sites. Here a list with some possible tours:

2 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon (30 kms)
35 JOD = 50 USD per jeep
3 hours jeep  – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Rock Bridge (35 kms)
45 JOD = 64 USD per jeep
4 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Bridge, Um Frouth Rock Bridge, Anfashieh inscriptions, sand dunes (50 kms)
55 JOD = 78 USD per jeep
5 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Bridge, Um Frouth Rock Bridge, Burdah Rock Bridge, Anfashieh inscriptions, sand dunes, sunset site (60 kms)
65 JOD = 92 USD per jeep

Monday, August 1, 2011

Petra Horses, Camels & Donkeys

When visiting Petra you have to be prepared for walking to be able to experience one of the great sites in the world. For the ones who are less active, there are some possibilities to limit your efforts. First of all, the entrance ticket Petra includes a short horse ride from the Visitor Centre to the entrance of the Siq, the canyon. It is about 700 meters and the horse boy walks beside you, so don’t expect a canter. Important, the horse boys demand a tip.

There are also 10 horse drawn carriages in Petra, first and foremost for elderly and handicapped visitors. These carriages take maximum 2 passengers and operate from the Petra Visitor Centre to the Treasury and back. Keep in mind the Petra terrain is uneven, so it is a bumpy ride. The price is 20 JOD per carriage. Handicapped clients can also obtain a permission to go with the carriage deeper inside Petra, but an advance reservation is to recommend due to the limited numbers of carriages.

Inside Petra one can hire a camel or a donkey, price is a matter of negotiation with the owner and depends on the distance. There had been complaints about the maltreatment of animals in Petra. It is not a coincidence that the welfare animal organization, The Brooke, had a till 2010 a clinic here, now in the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture. So, by hiring one of the animals make sure it is in good condition and even don’t hesitate to criticize the handler when being cruel. The people live from the work of these animals and have to get the message, badly treated animal means no clients, so no income. Especially donkeys have a low status.

As we had over the years complaints about missing transport possibilities in Petra like motorized vehicles or - I read a while ago - even cable cars, a short remark. Keep in mind, Petra is a unique site, an amazing heritage, which has to be preserved for the generations to come, that is to say the fabulous, thousands of years old fusion nature and architecture shall not be destroyed for the sake of laziness.