On the road in Jordan.

My recent tales from the Jordanian side wouldn’t be quite complete without a few words on (and pics of) the roads of the country plus the extraordinarily beautiful landscapes to be viewed all around therefrom. For we traveled no short distance along said roads – almost the full length and breadth of the country. The roads aren’t all great, but plenty are – while some are simply excellent. But the main thing, like I say, are the views from the roads; like this ->

One of the longest stretches of highway we drove on hugs the shore of the Dead Sea; oh yes:

But at times we left the coastal areas and headed inland: also oh my gorgeous:

Reds, oranges. Mountains, desert…

Occasionally, some rocks that have been chiseled all square and neat; that was nearer Petra

In places – the roads are top-notch in terms of smoothness, upkeep, barriers, lack of potholes…

But occasionally things just fall apart! ->

To be able to observe these more interesting paysages from the road (and experience the occasional fun stretch of off-piste!), you need to turn off the highway that connects Amman and the southern end of the country – the one that hugs the Dead Sea to the north – and take the back-road scenic route toward Wadi Musa. I’d show you on Google Maps the precise route we took, but Google Maps considers the road track we took simply not suitable for driving along: it always forces you to stick to the highway! Well I can tell you that the back roads are just fine. Google Maps – take note!…

We start out by the Dead Sea ->

The Ma’in Hot Spring we pass to our left ->

En route, we take the turn toward and up the canyon of the Wadi Mujib river, here ->

In dry season tourists are taken up the canyon; however, in the wet season – when we were there – it’s deemed too risky: heavy rains can fall and all of a sudden the place is flooded. Folks even get swept away to their deaths from time to time. No thank you…

Accordingly, in the wet season you only see it from afar:

Up on the top of the mountain next to the canyon is this here rock construction. Turns out it’s Lot’s wife (from the Bible), who turned into a pillar of salt after she looked back at Sodom. Well, well. And she’s still here – though I’m not sure that’s salt. Fossilized salt, maybe? :) ->

The Dead Sea: famously so salty you float on its surface. Check out the saltiness on those rocks too:

The level of the sea lake falls around a meter every year. You can see the stratification indicating this here:

Another hazard you might not expect: strolling along the lake’s banks isn’t recommended, since the rains dissolve the underground salt deposits, and sinkholes are formed as the land collapses in where there was once salt, which can literally swallow you up whole. Yikes.

Onward we drive, and take the mentioned turn inland, heading for Petra. In places – the road looks old and tired…

In others – just perfect:

No matter the caliber of road, the views all around – oh my Gawr as-Safi!:

A quick stop at a Bedouin diner and shop: coffee, snack, souvenirs; onward…

The hills around here are eminently trekkable; as usual – we had no time for such indulgences:

Back on the road – in the direction of Petra…

The above photos were taken in the morning, heading south. The following ones were taken going back north – at sundown:

Mostly – arid desert scenes. Occasionally, along the banks of a stream – some greenery; but not much – or often…

Modern kunst rock formations? Check:

Pyramids? Check!

Shepherds going about their business: check! Road workers laying fresh asphalt: check!

We sense Petra’s not far…


In the foreground – the modern-day Petra. Hidden in those mountains – the ancient, forgotten Petra:

You can just about make out the Siq canyon, which leads to Al Khazneh:

But I’ve told you all about Petra. We head on to Wadi Rum across a plateau – and the views continue to astound ->

Wadi Rum! ->

Wadi Rum was our final full spot of tourism in Jordan this trip. We’d covered a lot in such a short time, but there are still two places I want to get to see – next time. Those are: (i) the Roman ruins and assorted other ancientnesses, and (ii) the multi-religiously-significant Jordan river. Here they are (the photos aren’t mine) ->

PS: I don’t dwell on downsides to a place, but, briefly, there’s one I must mention. In hot and tropical climes there’s often the problem of insects. Mosquitos mostly. Madagascar springs to mind! But here, the problem is flies. They’re everywhere in vast quantities. You need to be real careful opening your balcony door here, for getting rid of a swarm of flies therefrom sure is no fun; leaving them in the room isn’t either! Still, at least you’re warned of this pesky hazard to be able to avoid it:

And that really is it for/on/from Jordan folks. A great trip; totally worth it; must get back there soon; and I heartily recommend you get there some day too!…

The rest of the pics from Jordan are here.

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    pj stevens

    I loved visiting and working in Jordan . It was a project sponsored by businesses and a University to offer Coaching to local Entrepreneurs to build businesses , and ideally employ others….
    The country was amazing. Breath taking. the scenery…. incredible
    I met some guys from Bedouin tribe, was invited into the tents for afternoon tea and chat…. Climbed hills, rocks, watch heavenly sunrises…. Stunningly beautiful.
    Of the British business people / coaches who went out, and stayed in the Eco Lodge up the wadi, I think we all had very emotional moments, the open space was overwhelming
    I think I felt incredibly humble ….
    Great photos of your trip @Eugene …. brought back memories.
    Happy New Year x

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