Reader David Townsend explores the deserts, cities and sandy icons of Jordan
The highlight: Petra! The pain of the hike to the Monastery was so worth it. Wadi Rum was also awe-inspiring. Its Mars-like setting was the perfect place to view the Milky Way in the dark skies above. Must see: Wadi Mujib has a fantastic river-canyoning course, just south of the Dead Sea hotel we stayed at. Rock jumping and getting completely soaked was such a great experience. Top tip: At the Treasury in Petra, be sure to take the offer from the locals of a hike up to the view looking down onto this fantastic monument. It’s not for the faint-hearted, though! Cautionary tale: Do not take advantage of the donkey or camel rides in Petra. We saw one lady fall off on the steepest part of the climb up to the Monastery. Plus, if you can, you want to feel like you’ve conquered the walk!
I wish I’d known... What an amazing city Amman, the capital of Jordan, actually is! It was a shame that we only had a morning to visit the city, but the kindness of the locals and the general feel of the place was very uplifting.
Anything else? Don’t believe everything you think you know about the Middle East. The warmth of the people we encountered was an absolute joy. Go explore! Also, I wish I’d taken more insect repellent with me, as the flies at the Dead Sea were killers!