Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jordan: Aqaba & Wadi Rum

It is taking me quite awhile to finish up Jordan, I know.  We have been super busy and on top of that the internet is super slow.

Our remaining time in Jordan was spent partially in Aqaba which is located at the southern end of the country on the red sea.  We went there because if we weren't getting to dive the red sea in Egypt we wanted to at least get a dive or two in in Jordan.  We got into Aqaba after dark and found a horrible room near the water right in the middle of the city.  The music playing beneath the window made it an even worse nights sleep.  I hated it and couldn't wait to leave there.  The next morning we jumped in the car and drove south along the coast to the first dive center we saw.  We went in and were able to do a dive within an hour.  It was amazing!  We walked right into the ocean behind the dive center with all our gear on.  The coral was so colorful and there was so many beautiful fish.  Not just the colorful tropical fish you normally think of, but tons of little wierdo animals you couldn't even imagine.  We both really really loved it!  We opted out of a second dive at that shop to drive down the coast toward Saudi Arabia to see what else was out there.  We stopped at the marine sanctuary visitors center which wasn't much, but we got some sandwiches for lunch from a very nice man working at the restaurant.  We continued driving toward Saudi Arabia just to do it but as we got closer we it became really industrial and we weren't sure if we were allowed there plus Jeff said I shouldn't get too close to the border anyway because I am a woman and I was probably breaking 10 laws just sitting there!  Ha!  We turned around and found a nice quiet area with a few beach hotels and dive centers.  This was so much better than the night before.  We attempted to do another dive.  We got all our gear, put on wetsuits, and drove to the beach just to be turned away because of the wind causing waves.  We were disappointed but decided just to go back and enjoy the beach near the hotel.  I collected sea glass and even got Jeff to participate.  Now I have red sea glass that is green :)  We ate a lovely dinner at the hotel of Arabic salad and chicken.  The sleep didn't improve at all however, because of all the mosquitoes in the room, but it was still better than the night before.

The next day we drove north to Wadi Rum.  Wadi means basically canyon, sort of, in Arabic.  This is a very scenic one that most people visit when coming to Jordan.  We drove in a bit to a village and stopped for lunch.  Then we walked up to some ruins of a 2000 year old temple.  Beyond that we hiked up to the cliff face where we ran into a Bedouin couple herding some goats.  The view from up there was great!  We couldn't stay long because we flew out in the morning and had to make it back toward the airport so we jumped back in the rental and drove another 3 hours north.  

We stayed in a town called Madaba south of Amman about 25 minutes, a bit closer to the airport.  The town is well known for old mosaics found while people were building.  After looking around we decided to stay at a Pilgrim House located on the grounds of the Greek Orthodox Church where the most famous mosaic was found.  It is a map of the holy land including Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Lot's Cave, the Dead Sea and tons of other Biblical places.  They told us when we got there that we wouldn't able to see it because they had mass the next morning and they had to lay out carpets for it.  Luckily the lady at the Pilgrim house talked to one of the clergy men who let us come in after they had just finished a meeting to see it.  It was pretty neat.  It covered only a fourth of the floor and some of it was missing but you could see fish swimming in the river Jordan trying to get away from the salty dead sea.  I loved that part.  The mosaic was (I think) made in 300A.D.  The Pilgrim House we stayed in was so much different than any other place we have stayed.  Women ran it and they dressed in what I consider normal clothes.  They talked to us, helped us, and were very friendly. It was nice being able to interact with women more than we had been.  We slept well then woke up early to catch a flight to Bahrain where we had a 5 hour layover before we headed to the Philippines where we are now.  There is so much to write about what we are doing now, but it will have to wait til I have the energy and time.  I hope you enjoyed Jordan!

Sorry there are no pictures.  I was walking down a dark path to my room at the red sea and took a bad fall busting up my knees and my computer.  I was very very sad about the computer.  It won't turn on.  I am hoping it can be fixed. 

1 comment:

  1. i love the "now I have red sea glass that is green" part. : ) so glad you guys are having a blast and have stayed safe.