With all of the media framing and terrorist talk, I'm sure most Americans would think twice about visiting the holy land, but not me. So, on I went again...solo... for another adventure of a lifetime. As a gesture of peace, here are some of the amazing sights from my journey to JORDAN and ISRAEL.
|Definitely not lost|
|Hookah? The answer is always "YES"|
|Hiking through 118 degree heat to get to the Lost City of Petra|
For those less agile or ambitious, there were camel rides available for $5 to take you to the Monastery. I was not witness to any angry or spitting camels. They were actually beautiful up close and didn't smell any worse than a petting zoo.
The Monastery is absolutely incredible. It's gigantic! If you look at the photo below, those specs are FULL-SIZED HORSES so you can see the enormity of this beautiful tomb. How the heck did I manage to get a shot without people in it? Well, it was 118 degrees and a Wednesday. Ain't nobody silly enough to trek 4 miles through a canyon and up 800 stairs to see this bad boy. We did see a few other tourists taking donkeys up, but unfortunately some little girl fell off her donkey about 20 steps from the top and they turned back and never made it up. I feel sorry for them because it was stunning.
|The Monastery, Petra, Jordan|
|Being a tourist and supporting the local economy|
Petra was a long day, but there was plenty more in Jordan to see. A short drive away from Petra headed north toward Amman is a small town called Madaba. The Greek Orthodox Church of St. George houses a mosaic map of the holy land (Jerusalem) from the 6th Century.
|Mosaic map of Jerusalem from the 6 AD|
Next up, Mt. Nebo. We headed to Mt. Nebo to check out Moses' view of the holy land. Look over the valley my friend, it's breath taking.
|Moses' view of the holy land|
|Here's the really big rock that blocked the door|
|Wading in the River Jordan|
There are no lanes in the road and people generally don't abide by any reason or laws other than drive forward. If there is a collision between a local and a foreigner, it is ALWAYS the foreigner's fault so make sure you have cash on hand to avoid potential issues. Also, there are a MILLION speed bumps on the highways and random checks for vehicles about every 30-50 miles.
|Camel on the side of the road|
You can't go to Jordan without visiting the Dead Sea. In fact, aside from seeing my friends there, that was my top priority. YES YOU REALLY CAN FLOAT WITH NO HANDS OR FEET. The Dead Sea is awesome. It is over 383 feet below sea level and is almost 10x saltier than the ocean. It's so salty that nearly nothing can survive in it.
With that being said, the salinity and high concentration of magnesium and other minerals create healing properties in its mud and water. So of course I went in and bathed in the mud.
I had a major wipeout on my bike 2 days before leaving that left a gaping wound on my knee, ankle and skidded of an entire toenail. Nothing was going to stop me from going in the dead sea - extreme salinity or not - so I brought along this super rad cast cover and it worked like a charm! No salt bites for me.