Journey South

There it is. That’s Jordan outside of Amman. No more green, and no more pretty much anything.

Just mosques, roadblocks and the occasional town.

I spotted a few Bedouin settlements in the distance. Our driver pointed out some homes along the way that the king had built for some these nomads, too.

We hired a car and driver for two days. He took us to Aqaba and Petra for a two day trek. We stopped in Petra on the way down. That place is so amazing that it’s getting it’s own post. I still can’t really believe I was there.

We considered Aqaba as a place to live some day, since it’s on the coast and has pretty easy access to 3 other countries. After being there, however, I don’t think I’d want to live there.

We got a little lost on our way to the hotel. I guess they redid the road and even though our driver, Abu Muhammed, had been there before, he missed it. This is where we ended up:

That is Saudi Arabia on the other side of that sign. We were less than 2 miles from the border and there was no place to turn around. As we got closer and closer, Abu Mohammed started getting nervous at the thought of showing up with two Westerners at the border. We pulled a quick U-turn to head back to Aqaba.

We got to the hotel pretty late, and decided to skip the $25 apiece dinner buffet and order room service. Bad plan. That was the weirdest chef salad I’ve ever had. No one picked up our dishes either, for more than 12 hours. Breakfast was pretty sad, too. Then we got locked out of our room (because the door/lock broke, not because we didn’t have our key.) When we finally got someone to help us, he sent another guy to climb from the balcony of the room next door to ours through the locked balcony door. Way to make us feel secure.

The views from the hotel were pretty sweet, but it was too windy to be a good beach or pool day.

So we headed to the souk.

As we stopped for a quick lunch, the Jordanian version of the Blue Angels were flying overhead doing aerial tricks. It would have been cool if my dad were there.

Because Aqaba is a port city, they have lots of goods for China and elsewhere. My husband got some not-gonna-last-very-long shoes for work for $5, I got a reject Nike workout shirt with a small hole in it for about $2 and we bought our tiny nephew a Barcelona soccer jersey that made his dad very proud.

Then we wandered around the food market. I bought some spicy curry and bonded with this guy over the size of his radishes.

Do you see those things? They’re huge. See my flikr page for more scenes from Aqaba – including delicious whole lambs hung upside down for easy access butchering.

So that’s Aqaba – cheap goods and expensive hotels, hotel food and tourist shops.

And soon enough, our little journey south was over, and it was time to head to Egypt…

But only after we took a short break with these guys.

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