06 September 2009

The mighty pea

Well we've got our own transport again which is great. This time it's a bright green little number, like a moderately sized pea, only with less power.

Once again our vehicle is so woeful that you need to turn the AC off if you want enough umph to get up the hills. At one point Si thought that I was going to have to get out with the bags and push!

The driving conditions aren't too bad here in Jordan, at least it's a little calmer than Egypt. The biggest dangers are the enormous number of unmarked speed bumps and the high probability of meeting a speeding car on the wrong side of the road.

Today's trip went well though. First we visited Little Petra, very much like it's larger cousin but . . . smaller! It was well worth a look in and best of all we had the place entirely to ourselves.

Next stop was Shobak Castle, a thousand year old desert crusader castle, which we were really disappointed with. It didn't even warrant leaving the car! We carried on up the Kings Highway to our next destination, Karak Castle. The scenery en-route was fantastic, very much like the Grand canyon in some places.

However we did have a bit of a shock when for the first time in 5 weeks some clouds appeared in the clear blue sky, horrifying!

It was too late for the castle by the time we arrived in Karak so we headed to the Kir Heres restaurant for tea. It was rumored in the Lonely Planet to be the only place in town serving alcohol. When we asked if we could have two beers the waiter looked at us as if we were very dubious and said yes but we had to move tables from the front of the restaurant to sit behind a curtain at the back to drink our beer! Not that we are alcoholics or anything but we do enjoy a beer at the end of a hard day's sightseeing. Alcohol is quite hard to come by in Jordan and is only served in a few restaurants and hotels. But now that it's Ramadan even most of these places won't serve it at the moment. We were reading in the Lonely Planet that in Pakistan in the 70's the only way to get a drink was to obtain a medical certificate from a doctor declaring that you were an alcoholic. Only with this certificate were you allowed to buy drink, so it could be worse!

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