Middle East 2015

Day 24: Kisses from the police

The lost day…. This day was really busy, really beautiful, full of cool experiences, funny things, and a rather expensive booboo. Because of all this and the subsequent busy and exciting days, it has taken me up til now to fully document this day. Hope I haven’t forgotten anything!

Day 24: Madaba – Umm Ar Rasas – Karak – Dead Sea Highway – Madaba

Another beautiful sunny day and we set out from the Moab Land Hotel with a very exciting day plan. We first headed for Umm Ar Rasas,Β  another UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ve just been knocking the World Heritage sites out of the park this trip.

 

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We were approached by a pair of men just outside the mosaic church and they wanted to know how we had found Umm Ar Rasas, why we came, and what we thought of it. They told us they were from Germany, and were doing restoration and research at the site as well as promoting it to visitors.

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Stunning old mosaics

 

Our plan was to continue on from Umm Ar-Rasas to Karak Castle. We didn’t mean to drive through the Grand Canyon of Jordan, but we did! It is just as beautiful as the one in America, with barely any visitors but the locals. So wonderful.

 

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We stopped at a viewpoint part-way down the hill for photos. A friendly man there. For some reason, at this time in the trip, I just couldn’t get over the feeling that everyone always had an ulterior motive. I was keen to keep exploring, to try and find a cool wadi that might be open to the public and aware that we still had a ways to go to get back to Madaba, so I did something that I had slightly regretted since: I declined to stay for tea. The man asked us if we wanted to come in for a cup of tea, an offer that was extended to us by nearly everyone we met in Jordan (and Turkey for that matter), and we both kind of glanced at one another and said ‘Oh, no thank you, we have to keep going on our way’. Our friend Avery, a very worldly and wise woman later told us that she always accepts offers to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together, and since she told us that, I wonder what may have happened if we had joined him for a cup of tea. As it was, he took a couple of photos of us overlooking the Grand Canyon, and on we went.

 

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Continuing down the windy road to the bottom of the canyon, we crossed over a bridge. There were a bunch of gun-toting soldiers just across a dam, with a bunch of signs, and a bit ominous looking, and we didn’t know what we should do. I slowed us right down, Leah took out our passports, and we inched our wayΒ across the dam. As we slowed and got close to the guys, they all came out of the little shack, and…. proceeded to wave and blow us kisses! We smiled and waved back and carried on with warm fuzzies in our insides. πŸ˜€

We were able to successfully navigate to Karak Castle, but didn’t decide to go inside it. We just took a few photos from across the city and kept going on the way. I’ve got to point out Leah’s amazing navigational skills at this point. She did not lead us astray once. However, this is the point in which we had a little oopsies because of my paranoia!

 

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Karak Castle

 

We pulled over after a fork in the road to make sure that we took the right fork. As we started to pull away from the curb, we lurched and bumped into the curb. What I think happened was maybe I didn’t turn the wheels enough away from the curb, and also, the curbs in Jordan are extra high, roughly mid calf. We sprung out of the car to check out what happened and it turns out that part of the bumper had cracked off. There was an immediate crowd of bystanding men and boys, and one young boy bent down, and jumped up, saying ‘it’s ok!’ with the piece of bumper in his hand. Β We were not sure what was ‘ok’ about that situation, but we chucked the broken pieces in the car and on we went.

As we drove, we could hear a sound that was not a normal car sound. We pulled over a short ways down the road and immediately a car with three men in it pulled over with us. They all jumped out and came over to help us out, toolbox in hand. I can’t express how pleased we were to receive such a wonderful helping hand and they helped us get going again quickly. Salaam alaikum!

I was a little sad for the rest of the drive, but driving down into the Dead Sea Region, you can’t be sad. The beauty of the ‘sea’ and the warm weather, makes for a wonderful drive back to Madaba. πŸ˜€

Categories: Middle East 2015

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