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By request: some general observations

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

Taxis: we weren’t keen on trying the taxis in Egypt, as we were still intimated, not wanting to get taken for a ride (no pun intended!), and Cairo cabs in particular have a bad reputation for milking as much money out of tourists as they can. As it turned out since we booked a tour for Egypt, there wasn’t any need for them. Our first foray into Jordan proved quite manageable. We probably paid more than necessary for the ride from the ferry into Aqaba, but the driver was kind and friendly, and we didn’t feel ripped off, and that’s what really matters. We took a taxi to Wadi Rum (arranged by our tour guides there) without any trouble, and again from Petra to Dana. By the time we got to Amman, we didn’t think anything of flagging down a taxi to take us across town, especially as they are quite supposed to use their meters. A trip clear across town ended up costing us less than $4 (and this in a country whose costs are generally only slightly less than back home).

[read on]

Exercises in Trust

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Well, today was definately an interesting day. It didn’t start out great, as we woke up to find our leftover chicken was missing from the fridge, so our breakfast was lacking in protein. But we made our way first to the JETT bus office to arrange our tickets to Damascus for tomorrow, and then to Abdali bus station to catch a local bus to Jerash. It was shaping up looking like it would be an exercise in frustration, comparable to getting to Amman, because the first bus we were directed to was a full sized bus. We would have been the second and third people on this bus, and they don’t leave until they’re full. Getting to Amman, we were the 7th and 8th people on, and still waited almost 2 hours to depart. But we asked around some more, and a very nice gentleman pointed us to an actual minibus that was almost full and departed within 10 minutes.

[read on]

Trips to Safeway, Madaba and the Dead Sea

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

Something generally lacking in the Middle East has been grocery stores. Fresh produce is readily available, and there are many "supermarkets" that sell chips, chocolate bars, water, pop and maybe two or three other products. But there's still ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dana Nature Reserve

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Dana Village
Dana Village

We've just arrived in Amman, after spending 3 days on the Dana Nature Reserve. Despite how much I try to hide it, I'm just ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Ultimate Stairmaster

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Stairway from Heaven
Stairway from Heaven

We've spent our third day in Petra now, and it was definately the hardest. We'd wanted to visit the second most ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

The Treasury
The Treasury

We have been in Wadi Musa (the town beside Petra) for 3 days, and have been to Petra for 2 days, going back again tomorrow. ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Whole New Kind of Saddle Sore

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Our Camels
Our Camels

Or perhaps that should be lack-of-saddle sore. Kathy and I spent the weekend (well, the western weekend) riding camels in the Wadi Rum desert not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Swimming with the Fishes

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Aqaba doesn't have the historical draw of much of the region. History happenned here, but it's left relatively little trace. However, there is excellent diving, in the limited available coastline between the port and the Saudi border.

So we ... [Continue reading this entry]

Welcome to Jordan!

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

We have arrived safely in Aqaba, Jordan, and so far we have noticed quite a difference from Egypt. The cab driver that brought us to our hotel took us straight there, without trying to sell us on a different ... [Continue reading this entry]