I left Wadi Musa (Petra) bound for Karak (taxi, 36JD) sharing with an Aussie and Kiwi couple. We stopped at Shobak castle (free) for an hour; ruined castle on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. We found a 150m tunnel of steps underneath the castle which led out to the road surrounding the hill, pretty sweet! We spent about 1.5 hours in Karak castle (1JD) after our driver pulled over to do his Friday pray, first time I’ve experience that one.
In the morning I hitched a ride with a Canadian couple to the Dead Sea and was supposed to go on a 2-3hr free unguided hike with them in Wadi Majib (nature reserve). When we got there, the free hike didn’t exist and the cheapest one was 16JD ($20), I thought this outrageous to go for a 2-3hr walk. Everyone that had completed the hike seemed pretty happy with it so I bit the bullet and paid.
Fuck I’m glad i did. If the sexist bloke at the counter had told me i was actually going canyoning up the Jordan River and that the whole site was set up with ropes which was where the money was going I wouldn’t have minded. The walk ends at a 20m waterfall which you can sneak around the back of, awesome. You then float/climb back down the way you came, round trip is approx 1.5hours and that’s going up/down a few of the sections 2-3 times.
Next on the agenda was a swim in the Dead Sea, if you ever go to Jordan or Israel you cannot leave without giving this a go! That’s all I’m going to say about it. And if your on a budget, don’t use Amman beach (12JD). Instead pull in at carpark 3, southern most, and instead of walking into the beach complex, simply use the beach on the other side of the fence. It’s exactly the same, just make sure you have 1.5L of water/person to wash the salt off afterwards. And don’t lick the salt crystals, they burn like crazy.
To get to Madaba involved a combination of cars and public buses, I know there should have been a better way than what I did but it only cost 7JD in total over 1.5 hours. On arrival, I found my accommodation on the “roof” of a hotel (Madaba hotel, 7JD); basically an unfinished floor, sleeping on a old mattress.
PS. wadi = river