Published: October 22nd 2011October 22nd 2011
SOOO... a week and a bit later, and Egypt is already finished! The time went by so quickly.
The ferry across to Aqaba in Jordan took a loonngggg time. We were meant to be on an express one, but we ended up on the slow one- 2 hours turned into 5 hours! We had no idea how long we were going to be on the boat (we were sitting in the port in egypt for 2 hours alone) so we got to entertaining ourselves. I decided to be henna maestro (I guess you don't decide to be a genius- it just comes naturally, no?), and decorated the hands of a few of my group mates. Just quietly, I was awesome. Photo included hehe
We FINALLY got to Aqaba and met our new guide, Zuhair, at the port. It was about 2100h, so we went straight to the hotel. Every hotel we've been at, we haven't been allowed to carry our own bags- that's what we tip the bell boys for. Even if we want to (which I often do!) we can't take our bags. At this particular hotel the man came up with the bags while I was lying
Wadi Rum 4wd-ing
The sand dunes were so intense, I was impressed Cathy could keep the camera still long enough to take this...
on the bed (fully clothed!). He stared at me, unashamedly, for over 10 seconds! A loonnnggg time... He then turned on the tv, tried to work on the air con and then stood there staring again. Teressa (my new room mate) ushered him out the door. When we were headed down stairs for the first group meeting for Jordan we took the lift and the same guy was in it- there was plenty of room in my corner, but he pulled me over to his corner and... you guessed it, stared... Nothing like making people feel welcome on their first night! Haha But I have since found out that this seems to be the norm in Jordan- I'm not much to stare at, but walking through the streets the only heads that don't turn are those of the tourists!
Anyhow, the first hotel was pretty good. Free WiFi in our rooms, sleep-in in the morning, walk around the markets (where I bought awesome pink Aladin pants) and then onto the bus to go to Wadi Rum (Valley of Rum). It's pretty much a big desert with a few rocks sticking out of the ground. Our guide said the 4wd-ing
over sand dunes was 'not to be missed', so most of us paid for the 4 hours. What he failed to mention is that Wadi Rum is possible the flattest desert ever. Ever. In like, forever. It was great seeing the desert, and the 4 hours meant we could see the sun set with a traditional sage tea in hand, but the 'adventure tour' part of it was not quite communicated. We don't trust his judgement anymore.
After the 4wd-ing he headed back to our Bedouin camp for the most amazing dinner ever. I have attached a photo of what it looks like when I get my appetite back (which incidentally has disappeared again). We had chicken, lamb and veggies that had been cooking in a pot in the sand for 3 hours. Sorry mum, but the lamb was the best lamb I think I have ever had. A charcoaly taste, literally falling off the bone... I may or may not have gone back for 3 servings...
The next morning we found out that one of the Canadian girls had "lost" her iphone- her bag was left in her tent and had been ripped open. So that she
could claim insurance she needed to go to the Wadi Rum police station, so her sister, Zuhair and I tagged along- the rest stayed at the camp (I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to see the Jordanian policing system at work! Haha) The statement was written up.... 2 hours later... then we were all on our way to Petra. We reached Little Petra (for a touch of sight seeing) at approx 1400, and we hadn't eaten since breakfast at 0730. The tour guide didn't tell us to bring along any snacks, so I was sitting in the bus gnawing off my left arm. We finally arrived at a pretty dodgey cafe at 1500- we were all so tired and hungry. I was the first one up the stairs and managed to get myself between the toes on a piece of metal sticking out of the ground. Once I saw the amount of blood (not pictured here) I poured dettol on like there was no tomorrow! I <3 tetanus injections. We ate at another cafe.
Today we were at Petra- it was amazing!! Everyone said it (in particular the treasury) was fantastic, but even with high expectations I
wasn't disappointed. 2000 years later, and the carvings in the rock looked barely a day over 759. Right now it's peak tourist season for the middle east because of the season and temperatures- but because of what's been going on in this part of the world there are not many tourists at all. Bad for the industry, great for us!!! Haha
We're sitting in the foyer of the hotel right now (the only place with WiFi) waiting for the next hour until we head out to a local restaurant for dinner. I have already Deet-ed up- I am being eaten alive by the mozzies!!! The next few days I'm keen to get to some markets- I haven't bought much at all (mainly because Mama Cass couldn't handle more), but I am tired, a little grumpy, more than a little impatient, and in DIRE need of retail therapy!
3 more days in Jordan- then onto Ethiopia! I'm really not sure what my internet will be like in Ethiopia- apparently it's not unheard of for a 2 line email to take 1 hour to load! I'll do my best to keep you up to date, but there may not be
many photos to follow. At least until December when I'm in Senegal.
I hope all of you are well- please feel free to send me messages and comments with internet love. I'm also keen to hear what everyone else is up to!!
There are more photos below