On my around the world trip, I chose to go to Jordan almost solely based on the fact that it had a marathon race and would fit in with my rough route that I had made. Only after I decided to run the marathon did I really consider what there was to do in Jordan. And before I arrived in the country, the only place I was certain that I would visit was Petra. Planning last minute, while at times stressful, really is a wonderful thing. I let my experiences guide me and the freedom to change plans or follow a random path on a whim took me to unexpected places. Because of the chance meetings with friendly folks, I avoided hotel stays half the time in the country and was fortunate to have people living in the country to show me around or give me good tips on where to go and what to see. (more…)
Archive for Middle East
Petra was insanely beautiful and satisfied my love of climbing and exploring. I spent two full days in Petra and could have easily done a third. I don’t think it is possible to see enough of Petra in one day. From the winding Siq that leads to the Treasury, to the hikes up to the Monastery, the High Place of Sacrifice, the Tombs, and even a lesser-known climb up to an overview of the Treasury- it was beautiful. I met some Bedouin children that after trying to sell me rocks, insisted on giving me a few to take back to Obama, I took advice from Bedouins I met on where the best view points are, and I really loved my time there. Below are some of the photos from my visit.
I landed in Amman only to be greeted on the bus into the city by a slimy married Egyptian man who insisted we share a hotel room together only to ‘save money’. I responded with some sarcastic remark about how I was sure his wife would be perfectly fine with that. Though he did follow me to my hotel, I finally was able to ditch him. The hotel worker did not speak English so he simply showed me to my room and refused to let me pay- I assumed I was to pay later when the English-speaking manager (who had rave reviews on Hostelworld) was around. I had looked forward to getting his advice on Amman but was quickly discouraged by my accommodations. It smelled of stale smoke, I later learned my bed had bedbugs, and there was no one else staying in my dorm so it was a bleak start. (more…)
When I took my trip around the world in 2010, my goal was to run five races around the world to raise money for education and grassroots projects. You may recall (or not, depending on how long you’ve been reading this blog) that I ran two marathons just three weeks apart on my trip. I ran the Rome Marathon two weeks into the start of my trip in Italy and then ran the Dead Sea Marathon in Jordan. Three weeks does not give much time to recover but I figured I would at least still be in shape to run it. Plus, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and who doesn’t want to say that they’ve run to the lowest point on Earth? It sounded like fun. The race also raises money to assist needy neurological patients so I was running for yet another good cause. (more…)
Wadi Mujib is a gorge on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. I think it’s a bit of a hidden gem, since the only way here is by taxi or private car. While I had planned to hop over to Israel for a few days while I was in Jordan, I met some people, changed my plans, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get to Wadi Mujib. I had read about it in my guide book but just thought there was no way I would get to go. (more…)