Our time in Petra and at Taybet Zaman had come to an end and with a sad farewell to the view and the rustic charm of my room we bundled into the car to head towards the Dead Sea. I couldn’t stay away for long however and found myself in my room 5 minutes later having forgotten the padlock to my suitcase in my room. When I was younger I would always, without fail, forget something at a friend’s house after a sleepover so it’s nice to see I haven’t grown out of this habit. Our second attempt to leave went to plan though and we were on the road again; this time it was the Desert Highway. Even if you’ve never been to the desert before I’m sure you’ll be aware of the fact that the desert is not that varied landscape wise and so after about 15 minutes I decided this was prime napping time. It had been a very tiring couple of days. As we had the same driver for the whole trip we had to make a few pit stops along our way to give him a bit of a break and the place we stopped at on our way to the Dead Sea was my favourite. We sat down to enjoy some mint tea and admired the huge fountain that had been created in the middle of the café/shop. It was at this point that our driver took the opportunity to dress me like a Jordanian man by wrapping a thing that looked like tea towel around my head. I have to say I think I looked rather fetching and pulled it off extremely well.
When we arrived in Karak it was like we were in a completely different world. The streets were smaller, it was very crowded, there were so many cars (the drivers didn’t quite seem to understand the concept of patience or the fact that you cannot park in the middle of the road), chickens were squashed into cages and placed on the pavements etc. When we were driving up to Al Karak castle, the car in front of us had 2 pictures of Saddam Hussein in his back window. That filled me with confidence! Upon arriving at Karak castle we paid the security man to make sure our car was safe and went to take a look around the ruined castle. When we came back we found our car with a flat tyre due to the valve being broken. Highly bizarre when the security man was meant to be keeping a watchful eye over it… How our driver managed to stay calm I will never know.
After replacing the tyre we made our way to the Dead Sea. I have to admit that I was shocked by how many people I saw living in tents. Our driver said that there were 15 families living in tents in this area but unless those families are at it like rabbits and account for over 30 people each then I don’t see how this can be possible. There were tents everywhere. The contrast between how the locals live and the luxury found in the Dead Sea resorts made me feel a bit uneasy. I couldn’t spend my whole holiday in one of these hotels but I was grateful for the couple of nights spent relaxing.
One tip I would give anyone when going to the Dead Sea is make sure you shower all the salt off when coming out of the sea before standing arms and legs spread wide to try and dry under the warm sun. If you are like me and have sensitive skin then not showering is a very bad idea. I was clever enough to do such a thing and reacted to the salt and ended up looking like I had a skin disease. It wasn’t one of my most attractive moments but my skin was silky smooth fro; the mud!
When you stay at the Movenpick resort you are faced with a real dilemma. During the day you will be lying by the pool, slathering yourself in mud and trying your best to reap the benefits from the sun and salt, however at night there is an incredible buffet in the main hotel restaurant that is not to be missed and consequently makes you feel like you’re about to explode and not beach ready in the slightest. If you’re not really of the adventurous food eating type then this is a real shame (and you should really try and branch out) but not to worry as there is enough choice that you can stick to your chicken and potatoes or whatever it is you’d like to eat. If, like me, you are the most indecisive person in the world and want to try everything then this buffet is also for you. I did get a bit upset though when I could only fit in 11 desserts and therefore couldn’t try the 4 remaining ones.
The next day was to be the end of our Jordan trip and on the way to the airport our driver told us a lovely story about camels. I do not take any responsibility for the consequences if anyone tries this – apparently, the Bedouins believe that you can cure cancer by drinking camel milk mixed with camel urine. I shall leave you to ponder this for a while whilst I go make myself some mint tea and plan my next adventure!