worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

18Jul/100

jerash, jordan

i returned to amman for my flight out and did a day trip to the ancient roman ruins of jerash just north. i had wanted to return for another float in the dead sea but i had so many bed bug bites that it was out of the question! tiny cuts really hurt when exposed to the 31% salinity of the dead sea.

i enjoyed visiting the ruins of jerash! the sun was strong and while hiding in the shade i met some security guards who were happy to give an arabic lesson. had a good laugh with them and then on the way back i met two adorable boys on the bus. i still had the moustache that yuka bought me and i cut it in half so that everyone could have a 'stache (i drew one on the side of my pointer finger). i love jordanian people!

2Jul/101

peachy peach!!! aqaba, jordan

the first time i met pieter-jan in mexico he said "hi i'm pieter-jan. but you can call me peachy." actually what he really said was "you can call me 'pj'' but we all thought peachy suited him. i have fond memories of our travels together in central america. since then he's written e-mails addressing me as "my favorite crazy ass" or simply "crazy ass." i can't believe it'd been five years since we'd last seen each other!

peachy and his friend graham are on this insane road trip from south africa all the way to england. they both trained to be safari guides in south africa and decided to return home via the scenic route. they've gathered crazy insane stories and photos!!! peachy's amazing snaps are here:

http://www.longhaulpj.com/

it was so wonderful to camp and relax by the amazing red sea with peachy-i even got to sleep in their pop up tent! snorkeling in the sea was incredible! i didn't' realize until after the fact that i had not one but two very close encounters with rock fish (the most poisonous fish in the red sea). gulp.

because i spent so much time snorkeling, my back and backside got quite sunburned. i showed peachy the contrast between black and white and he said:

"snorkelbutt"

1Jul/100

beautiful petra, jordan

in petra sophia and i bumped into elisa, a funny italian lady who we had met  in amman. the three of us adventured around petra on a hot and sunny day to see amazing structures carved from sandstone cliffs.

walking through the narrow siq (canyon) and seeing the silhouettes of camels by the treasury was an incredible way to start the day.

we adventured around the royal tombs and then made the climb to the monastery where we enjoyed a picnic and some kite flying time. the views of the valley and of israel were amazing from here, as was (of course) the impressive monastery.

in the late afternoon we hiked to the high place of sacrifice, did some jumps in the altar, and then called it a day. after thirteen hours of walking in the heat, we had had it!

24Jun/100

a dream come true! dead sea, jordan

booked a flight to jordan to hover in the dead sea! a dream come true! my new german friend sophia and i ventured out on a day trip from amman to this lovely place. we could see israel from across the sea! lowest place in the whole wide world!

we arrived prepared: armfuls of arabic newspapers, tiger mask, and kite. actually, there was no wind for the kite so instead we scooped up salty sediments and mud from the sea bed and gave our bodies a nice scrub. and of course we floated and floated and laughed and laughed! it was so funny to watch people try and swim! swimmytime just isn't possible when one is so buoyant. the only bad thing that happened was that i tasted a drop of dead sea: beyond yuck!

was such a lovely day.

24Jun/100

friendly fish in amman and madaba, jordan

the people of jordan won a soft spot in my heart immediately. because of my late arrival the  one man working at a shop at the airport helped me call my hostel, helped me find my bus, and even changed a bit of money for me. while walking around town the following day  i heard many times: "welcome to jordan!" (sans subsequent pressure to enter a shop, sans subsequent marriage proposals). i felt genuinely welcomed. the guys at the falafel shop put more and more falafel balls on my sandwich while i dined. another man at a sandwich shop welcomed us to watch the world cup in his shop. one fruit vendor even hand fed me some of his produce...hrm.

stayed at a nice hostel in amman where i met sophia, a sweet german lady. she and i adventured together for as long as we could! i also ventured out to madaba, a town famed for its ancient mosiac map.