Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jordan Jollies - Day Six

Jordan Jollies We left Dana after breakfast and they only charged us 60JDs for the two nights and dinners. Although we had tickets for Petra we really didn't feel like doing it again. We wanted to get down to Aqaba and get warm.

We stopped at Shawbak Castle which is not too far from Dana, and then headed across country towards the Desert Highway. Our route was about 200km and I discovered that the car could not go faster than 155 kph, and that Jordan does not seem to have any speed cameras. Most of the trip was on the Desert Highway, and a bit boring. But the last 50 km or so were through beautiful pinky/red mountains. On the outskirts of Aqaba there is a serious checkpoint because the whole of Aqaba is an economic free zone.

In Aqaba itself we rejected the first hotel we saw, and booked into The International Hotel. It was pretty basic, but our 'triple room' was a suite of two bedrooms with a little lounge. Can't complain for 20 JDs a night.

BetterArf wanted a sleep, while Offspring and I planned on spending the afternoon in The Rovers Return. This plan was thwarted by their complete failure to supply Kilkenny or Guinness, despite them having the fonts. Had one pint of Amstel (yawn) and went shopping.

I'd been trying to get an adapter so my three-pin Brit-style phone charger could plug into the Jordanian two-pin power sockets. I finally managed to get one but back at the hotel was amused to find that the sockets were three-pin jobbies.

We were heading back to the hotel and bumped into BetterArf on the way - she was going out and we were going in. We re-arranged our rendezvous (it had originally been T'Rovers Return) and she gives me the lowdown on the shower and hot water situation.

A bit later I met up with BetterArf. Offspring had put himself to bed (it was 6 pm). As we walk she told me about Salim, the bookshop owner who had sold her a million JDs worth of books. He wanted to talk to me about doing business in Dubai. Then we bumped into him. He was on his way to pray, but took us to a very good fish restaurant and chose a couple of fish for us. We promised to stop by his shop in the morning.

Anyhoo, the food was excellent, and we went for a little walk around Aqaba Corniche. We found out where the beaches and aquatic activities were, and it looks like we'll be basking in sunshine tomorrow.

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