Day 042 Jordan : Homs - Jerash

Day 042 Jordan

Trip Distance 449 km (279 m) Total Distance 7578 km (4710 m)
Diesel Costs JD0.335    
       
Stopover
Jerash
Olive Branch Hotel

N32.29584 E35.85479

JD20

We drove hard to get to the Syrian-Jordanian border crossing and were through without incident (thank goodness!) in under an hour again.  We headed straight for Irbid as our first stop for some lunch and an internet cafe so that we could at least post an entry to let everyone know that we were safe.  We had been too nervous to try and connect in Syria so the blog was now well out of date. 

Irbid is a very buzzy town - it being a University town.  We found a fantastic parking spot on the main street and hit the shops.  Did you know that there are 3 Jordanian records in the Guinness Book of Records?  One of them is that the main street in Irbid approximately 1 km in length has the most internet cafes in the world - 180 of them!  You can swing your laptop bag around and hit at least 3 in one go! LOL Something like the proliferation of pharmacies in Greece.

After lunch and a quick update to the website, it was getting a bit late so we set off in the direction of Ajloun and the Nature Reserve because the map showed a campsite.  When we arrived a couple of hours later, we discovered that in fact it was a tented camp run by the conservation group in Jordan and they wouldn't let us camp there ourselves and wanted to charge us JD60 each per night.  Not a chance - too expensive for our tastes! So we set off for Ajloun, checking the Lonely Planet for any tips.  There was an entry in there that the Olive Branch Hotel on the road between Ajloun and Jerash allowed camping so we headed in that general direction.  The signs to it are tiny so easy to miss and we ended up in Jerash town but a friendly policeman directed us back up the hill to the hotel - if you want to go there follow the turn off to Suf just before Jerash from Ajloun.

We drove up to the hotel, checked in with the manager Adnan to find out that we had hot showers and free wifi included in the price, so we settled in for a couple of days.  It was such a relief to feel that we were free again and welcome in the country.  Probably just in our minds of course, but we needed to feel like that in order to start relaxing again, so we just allowed it to happen.