Logbook: Week of 4/22

julia 1  Abstract: For logbook this week, I’m going to tell you about my trip to Wadi Rum and the city of Petra. I didn’t work specifically at these places this week, but they are two destinations I have visited. My study abroad program took us on an overnight trip to Wadi Rum and Petra back in March. Enjoy!

TRAVEL NEWS

Local Time: 3:40PM

Time Zone: + 4 hours

How far did we travel this week?

The entire trip to Wadi Rum and Petra was 435 miles.

How far have we traveled on our journey so far?

I am not certain of the exact distance but I estimate it is over 1000 miles. Since it is near the end of the semester, I have visited almost everywhere in Jordan. Although Jordan is a small country compared to the US, I have still travelled many miles. This includes trips to the southern border next to Saudi Arabia and the Syrian border in the north.

How did we get around this week?

I used taxis during the week in Amman. My study abroad program transported all of us by bus to Wadi Rum and Petra. While in Wadi Rum, I used a truck and a camel to get around. In Petra, I walked and used a donkey to get to the top of a mountain.

What was the most interesting place we visited this week?

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Can you see Petra through the rocks?

The most interesting place I visited was Wadi Rum and Petra. It is difficult to choose which one I preferred more because they are both full of history and beautiful in their own ways.

Wadi Rum is a desert in south Jordan that used to be entirely underwater. The rocks in the desert actually look like they were underwater in the past because of the way they are carved. I loved seeing science right before my eyes! I had learned about the creation of today’s continents in school. I could point to in real life and think, “yes, this is evidence that some parts of the earth used to be completely underwater.” I thought that was really cool. Are you learning about that topic in science class at school?

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My friend Amanda standing in front of Petra

Petra is a city north of Wadi Rum but still in the southern part of Jordan. Have you seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? There is one scene where Indiana Jones gets to a city that looks like it was built into the mountain. That city is Petra. It is hidden within giant rocks that split apart during plate tectonics thousands of years ago. In fact, it was discovered by accident. If you look at the picture below, you can see how you needed to really look for it if you wanted to find it. It is well hidden!

This Week’s Travel News:

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The desert before the sunrise

It was great to get out of the capital and be immersed in nature. I have always enjoyed rock climbing and Wadi Rum had numerous rocks that were excellent for that. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to explore and I had to climb down before I got to the top of my rock. Since we were in nature, I made sure to take full advantage. In Wadi Rum at night, I went outside the entrance of camp with my friend, Lucie, so we could see the stars without any city lights interfering. I know it’s difficult to see the stars in New York City because of all the lights from buildings, traffic lights, and other man-made things. Can you see stars at all? Have you ever been camping? It was incredible to see thousands of stars in the sky. I don’t think I have ever seen as many stars as I did that night. I also made sure to set my alarm early for the next morning so I could see the sunrise. It was beautiful. No matter where I travel, I try to take advantage and see things that I don’t normally see on a day-to-day basis.

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally:

Sunny: 7

Cloudy: 0

Partly cloudy: 1

Rainy: 0

Snowy: 0

Windy: 3

How was the weather this week?

In Amman, the weather in March was still a little chilly. I had to wear my jacket every day in addition to multiple layers of clothing. Wadi Rum and Petra were quite nice, on the other hand. Since they are in the south, the weather is generally warmer. During March, the weather in both places is equivalent to the weather in April and May in New York City, but it does not rain here.

What animals did we see this week?

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I got to ride a camel

The animals I saw this week were very different from what I normally see in Amman. I saw a couple cats, which are very common throughout Jordan. The new animals I saw were camels, donkeys and horses. All three can be found in Petra, although I only saw camels when I was in Wadi Rum.

What was the coolest thing we saw in nature this week?

As I mentioned above, I found the rock formations in Wadi Rum fascinating and the stars in the desert amazed me.

This Week’s Nature News:

Since I like to be prepared, I checked the weather forecast for Wadi Rum and Petra before leaving on our trip and I packed clothes accordingly. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the desert is always hot, no matter what the temperature forecast is. I was wearing clothes suitable for 55 degrees when it felt like 80 degrees out! That is a mistake I will not make again.

OUR NEWS

What music did we listen to this week?

We stayed with Bedouins in a camp overnight in Wadi Rum. Do you remember what Bedouins are? I have written about them before. After dinner, they brought out instruments and started to play music with a steady beat to dance to. It is music that specifically goes along with a dance called dubqa. Dubqa is a dance traditionally done by men, although there are several forms for women. There are over 19 different types of dubqa in Jordan alone!

What activity was the most fun this week?

Trying the dubqa dance was the most fun for me. Dubqa is done by having a group of people standing in a circle holding hands. There is a one leader who starts walking to his right. Depending on the style, he may kick a leg up every three steps, or tap his foot every other step. Everyone must follow and do the dance exactly like him. Every step he takes is to the beat of the music. That is why the music is so important to dubqa.

This Week’s News:

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Can you see how the rocks look like they were carved by water? (Yes, I am doing a handstand)

Overall, I had a wonderful journey to Wadi Rum and Petra. I highly suggest that you travel there if you have the opportunity. I did further research and discovered that Wadi Rum is one of the best places in the world for rock climbing. I hope to go back before I return to the US so I can explore the area further. Wadi Rum and Petra have been my favorite places to visit in Jordan so far. What is your favorite place in the United States? In New York?

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