Postcard from... Jordan
By Frida Bowman
Hi! This week, I’m going to tell you all about how a camel smells. (Yuk!)
But first, lay down in your comfiest position and I’ll take you on a journey...and don’t worry, you don’t need to do the hike! We already did it and, phew, it was hot!
We’re in Jordan. It’s the country next to Israel and it’s completely different. All you need to get there is to walk through “no man’s land.” It’s the land between Israel and Jordan, between the passport gates. It’s actually a place in between two countries.
We crossed at the Red Sea crossing. (In ancient times, “red” meant south...so this was the “South Sea.” Black was north, so the Black Sea was the North Sea.)
It was very easy. Behind us, there was actually a whole bus full of Australians. My daddy was pretty surprised to see them. (He was born in Australia, too.)
Next, we took a long taxi ride to Petra. Petra is a strange ancient city that is built into the rock. The rock was pinkish orange so they also called it the “Rose City,” because of the colors. Well, these people really knew how to make castles and temples. There was one carving called the Treasury, where I saw a little cat who I named “Treasure.”
The hike was really hard, so we got a horse ride at the very end. It was lovely. The horse’s name was Ahed. He was a brown horse with a black mane and tail and beautiful hooves, which glimmered in the light.
The next morning we went to Little Petra. We had such a big hike ahead of us that we decided to take a donkey ride. We got two, Jack and Laura...but Laura wandered away, so Jack took me and mommy together. He was very strong. Daddy walked, just to get in his step count.
The trails were really hot and narrow and steep. They were so high, I felt like I was flying. At the narrow parts, we had to hop off the donkey and walk. And just to make a point, my shoes did not have any traction. I was wearing ballerina shoes, not the best idea.
Finally, we were there, at the Monastery. I even saw a little white cat that had orange ears and a little orange tail. I named him Mony, after the Monastery. We had to rest and have an ice-cream. I got one that had peanuts and chocolate and which tasted like coco. It tasted so nice and cold.
But I know, you want to hear about the camel...
Next we drove to Wadi Rum, which is a giant desert. We are “glamping.” (Glamping is like camping, but with lights and big beds and a bathroom and shower inside the tent.)
When we arrived, it was finally time to ride a camel. I nicknamed my camel Sniffy, because he sniffed my daddy’s elbow the whole time. My daddy’s camel I nicknamed Sneezy, because it sneezed all over him. And my mommy’s I called Chewy, because he kept chewing some weird grass thingy-thing the whole time. (Thingy-thing is a word you say when you don’t know what to say.)
It was sunset when we rode into the desert. An hour later, we finally got off. (Bump, bump!) The camels get up and down first with their hind legs, then with their front legs. It’s very bumpy.
When we got off the camels, we drank some lovely tea. Our guide made the tea on a fire. Mine had sugar in it.
So, what do camels smell like? They smell like sweat. And just to give you a heads-up, camels really need to brush their teeth. Their breath smells horrible, like a trash can full of dirty diapers. But they are fun to ride and very gentle. I loved it.
(“Hey, Chewy! Stop chewing near my face!”)
Finally, we went out on a 4 wheel drive into the middle of the desert. We laid on our backs and looked up at the stars. I saw the Big Dipper. It was bright and sideways and looked as if it was pouring something.
Then we went back and slept in our beautiful big tent. Our time in Jordan has been delightful. Just remember, next time you see a camel, try not to go too close to its mouth.
Thanks for reading or, as they say in Arabic, “shukran.”
P.S. We’ll be posting postcard responses later this week with more videos! Feel free to email us with your own and we’ll post them.
Unlock the Lessons! We’ll be posting about Castor and Pollux (their statues are on the front of Petra’s Treasury) this week, along with games, activities and more… Subscribe today and get everything!