I (Kaylee) spent 10 days in Jordan, which gave me a good amount of time to see the beautiful and culture-rich country.
When I told family and friends that I was traveling to a country in the Middle East, alone with a woman I met once through a mutual friend, most responses were negative. Sadly our media teaches people to fear other’s and certain regions / countries. I wanted to prove to everyone that this country was not made up of horrible people, but rather friendly and helpful people, and a beautiful landscape!
When I arrived to the Amman airport, we got our bags off of the baggage carousel, and went outside to find our driver. Our driver was the owner’s son of the hostel we were staying at in Amman- The Cliff Hostel. It had really great ratings on Hostel World, it was right in the location we wanted to be, and the price point was fair! The hostel was made up of extremely friendly people who wanted to help plan our trip, and who always went the extra mile to help us. The owners name is Andrew, and he is an absolutely amazing man. So soft-spoken and kind.
Our flight was around 7 hours long and we arrived after midnight in Amman, so we slept in on our first day. We woke up to a crazy rain storm! There was about 1-2 feet of water in the streets. When we went out into the common room of the hostel, they were watching the news, and told us all about it, all while laughing at us (in a good way), for missing it all. When we went out onto the balcony we could see the water, but it was only drizzling at that point. We decided to go on a walk to see the city, and to see what had happened. As we walked through the streets of Amman, people were squeegee-ing the water out of their stores. We walked to the colosseum, and it was full of water, so no tours that day.
Wadi Musa & Petra
After spending a couple of nights in Amman, we took the Jett bus to Wadi Musa, which is where Petra is located. We spent the next 2 nights at a hostel called The Valentine Inn. When we arrived we were greeted with bedouin tea (the best tea I have ever tasted). The rooms were spacious, they had a nice balcony overlooking the town on each floor, and we paid a little extra per night for a dinner with everyone at the hostel.
On our first day in Wadi Must, we took a car to Petra and explored for the day. The Siq was absolutely breathtaking. We walked for about 15 minutes, until we seen the Treasury or Al Khazna. The detail was incredible! I was literally blown away. As we walked closer to the Treasury, I remembered an episode of Departures on Netflix. There was a camel who was known for drinking Coca Cola. Being me, I had to know if this camel was still around. So I walked over to a local man, and asked to see the Coca Cola camel. He laughed, grabbed a can of Pepsi (there was no Coca Cola), gave it to the camel and WHAT!!! The camel took the can, drank it all, and spit out the can. Talk about skills. So moral of the story- if you ever go to Petra, ask for the Coca Cola camel. Then let me know if he was still there.
The woman who I was with on this trip was much more active than I was (I like my chips. Sorry not sorry), so naturally she wanted to climb up everything. I wanted to as well, just not as fast. So anyways we took the (what felt like a million) steps up to the Monastery. Let me tell you the views were well worth every step. I wish I had a drone at the time, because my pictures just don’t do it justice.
We stopped at a man’s tent where he sold carvings, and he invited us in for tea. Again, try the tea. It is so delicious. We spent about a half hour there talking with him, then started our journey down the (million) steps. Which by the way, it felt like a breeze going down. The rest of the day was spent walking around and exploring. After spending the day at Petra we went back to our hostel, ate dinner with everyone, sang and danced, then went to bed.
The next day, the woman I was with wanted to go back to Petra. I on the other hand, had enough climbing, and opted to stay back in Wadi Musa and explore the town. We parted ways for the day.
I spent my day walking around Wadi Musa, and came across a small restaurant owned by 2 men. They were in their 20’s, had lived in Belgium and could speak English quite well. We chatted, they made me lunch, and invited me to a cave later that evening with some other 20-something’s. I said I might come back, and I continued walking.
When I got back to the hostel, I met up with my travel buddy, and we talked about going to the cave. It wasn’t something she was interested in, and I was kind of nervous to go alone. I went back to the restaurant and told them I wouldn’t be going, but that I appreciated the offer. There were about 7 people waiting for me, and they said they had been waiting for a while. I felt rude, so I decided to go.
We all piled into the 2 jeeps, and set off for the caves. When we got there we all went into a cave that was full of water, the fireflies and echoing was pretty amazing. After that we walked to a small cave, lit candles, and talked for a few hours.
People started drinking, and I knew at this point I was ready to go home. So I asked for a ride. The father (who drove one of the jeeps) said he would drive me, since he was not drinking. We had only been driving for about 5 minutes, when he pointed to the stick shift as if he was asking, “do you drive manual?”. I shook my head yes, and he got out of the jeep. The clutch felt like it was going to let go at any moment, and the breaks definitely didn’t feel like anything I was used to. But I got myself home safely, thanked him for the ride, and went in for dinner and a night of singing and dancing.
Wadi Rum / The Desert
Next on our list was Wadi Rum, the desert in Jordan! We took a tour called Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp. We were dropped off at their tour guide office, waited for everyone to get there, then took these amazing old Toyota’s into the desert. We stopped at many sights, including Lawrence’s Spring, the red sand dunes, and more, then made our way to our campsite. We had a delicious meal which was cooked underground, spent the night chatting with everyone who stayed at this campsite, and watched the breathtaking stars above us. The next day we got to ride camels through the desert, which was one of my favourite parts of the entire tour! You can get the full tour details here.
Our next stop was Aqaba, a port city on the Red Sea Gulf. My main reason for wanting to see stop in this city was for the diving! On our way from Wadi Rum to Aqaba, our taxi driver stopped along the road, told us to get out with him, and pointed across the sea. We could see Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in the distance! Our driver then took us to our accommodation, the Darna Village Beach Hotel, which we booked through Hostel World. It didn’t feel like a hostel at all. I would recommend this one to families. We had free breakfast, our own room with 2 beds and a full bathroom, it had a restraunt, diving on site, and even a pool. Across the street was the beach. The only thing that I can say was a downfall about this hotel, was that it was quite far from the city centre.
Later that day, we decided to go diving. Both of us were not PADI certified, but they do offer tours for non-padi people. The dive was incredible and the tour guide was very knowledgable.
The next day, we decided to go diving again. This time we went to another site and went on a longer tour. We seen a boat wreckage and went inside of it. I almost passed out, but thats a whole story in itself.
When we got back to dry land, we took a taxi into the city of Aqaba, and walked around. We went with some friends we had met back in Amman, who coincidentally were also staying at the Darna Hotel.
When we arrived back at the hotel, we met 2 ladies who were from the United States. We all had dinner together, took another taxi to a store for some snacks, and went back to the hotel.
While my travel buddy and I were talking, she wanted to go to a nature reserve next, and I wanted to head back to Amman and see the Dead Sea. We decided to part ways until the day before our flight.
I took the Jett bus back to Amman, and took a taxi from the bus stand to the Cliff Hostel, where I stayed until our flight. The following day I went walking through the city, and went to the market which is near a Mosque. The police had the roads around the Mosque barricaded off, as people placed their prayer rugs on the ground to pray. It shocked me to see the police, but once I realized why they were there, I felt a rush of happiness and relief. The Mosques are absolutely breathtaking, so I stood for a while admiring everyone. As people started to pray, I continued on to the market, where I drank fresh-squeezed orange juice, and ate delicious fruits.
The dead sea
When I returned from the market, I asked the owner’s son of the Cliff Hostel to take me to the Dead Sea. A few ladies from the hostel also wanted to go, so we all hopped in the car and set off.
The Dead Sea was again, breathtaking. I’m telling you Jordan is an incredible and mind-blowing country. We were told to stay on our backs and stay semi-close to the shore, because you float and swimming is a bit hard / awkward. The ground was covered in hardened, white salt, which was unlike anything I had ever seen.
A little tip for you, don’t shave your legs the day you go to the Dead Sea, your legs will burn. It’s not that bad though. Totally worth it!
When we returned to the Cliff Hostel, I met up with my travel buddy, we went to bed, and woke up the next morning to catch our early AM flight. Jordan was a trip I will never forget, and I can not wait to return with Mitch and Cooper.