|Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Jesus' baptism|
|Need a ride? Camels are for hire along the Dead Sea Highway|
|Amman Beach, the Dead Sea.|
This is harsh land, even in October. The highest temperature recorded ever in the area was 50 degrees Celsius (roughly 122 degrees Fahrenheit), according to our driver. The region receives little rain and to put the topography into a Texas and southwestern perspective, think of a much, much larger Terlingua only with less vegetation, and without the picturesque mountains that skirt either side of the Rio Grande. Sitting in a Dead Sea restaurant looking east toward the mountains that lead to Amman, I was reminded of the first few miles of the drive east from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft, NM. And to the west, instead of the White Sands, there is the Dead Sea's blue sapphire appearance.
Two of the more interesting sites briefly mentioned by the Jordanian guide were the city of Jericho, vaguely visible across the Jordan, and the site where Elijah was "carried by a whirlwind" into heaven on a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire.