Day 051 Jordan : Petra - Aqaba

Day 051 Jordan

Trip Distance 82 km (51 m) Total Distance 8233 km (5117 m)
Diesel Costs JD0.335    
Entrance Fee JD14 -
JD10 Sully (car)
JD2 per person
Wadi Rum  
Red Sea Dive Centre N30.2584 E35.49239 JD30 - we abandoned Sully for a room with airconditioning! Swimming pool and breakfast included

Did you know that when you bath, the water, at a comfortable hot temperature, is around 48degC?  Did you know that in Wadi Rum today it registered 52degC?  Did you know that when the temperature outside is that high, when you jump into a pool that's at 28degC, it feels cold brrrrrrrrr?

Ok, now that I've finished setting the scene, we'll carry on with the blog.  We just wanted to let you know that it is H-O-T here in the south of Jordan as it enters the summer season.

We left Petra and our friends at the Al Anbat Hotel at around mid-morning in the direction of Wadi Rum as we had intended to spend the night there - we've heard it's pretty much unmissable.  We arrived in Wadi Rum around midday and when we got out of the car to pay the entrance fee, I almost passed out as the wall of dry desert heat hit me.  We can say, hand on hearts, that we have NEVER experienced heat of this magnitude, ever!  But we decided that we would stick it out, play in the sand with Sully until it cooled down and then find somewhere to camp.  Once you have paid the entrance, you are allowed to camp anywhere in the Wadi.  (Note from Ed: Little tip: Enter Wadi Rum from Aqaba South Beach area and entrance is free although in the interest of sustainability and preserving this for future generations, it doesn't seem much to pay the fee).

Sully's tyres got deflated (Trevor was brave enough to venture out to do it) and off we went as we left the tarmac and Seven Sisters a_SG102131 behind for the first time and penetrated the dunes, hills and mountains of Wadi Ruma_SG102118.  We were a bit nervous at first but once we saw her eating up the sand, we started to relax and began to enjoy the sensation of driving across the almost moon-like terrain.  Rocks and stone turned to orange and red dunes a_SG102124 a_SG102125 , dunes hardened into to rock againa_SG102128, bedouin settlements dissolved into the shimmering heat behind us, wild camels whispered over the sand a_SG102120  and other 4x4s crossed in front of us on the horizon every now and again - tiny toy matchbox cars hurled by invisible hands around the hills - clouds of fine dusted billowing out behind them, giving away their positions. 

Roads disappeared into the wide, blue yondera_SG102126  .

A couple of hours later, we noticed a wind picking up and as quickly as we noticed it, the hills around us started to disappear into ita_SG102134 .  So, off we set back to the entrance, navigating by back-tracking on the GPS.  Phew, thank goodness we have them.  It was a real pity but we had to abandoned our visit as sand sandwiches are not our thang.  We arrived back at the entrance - safely and reasonably quickly, re-inflated Sully's tyres and set off for Aqaba.

We drove through miles of dunes and Aqaba appeared with our first view of the Red Sea in the distance.  Passing through Aqaba downtown, we spotted an overland landcruiser, we thought we knew.  It was Marc from Switzerland that we'd met in Turkey, now with Brigitta (in place of his teddy bear - although Teddy is still evident watching over all with his new pink sunglasses!).  Having had to change their plans, they are checked into the Bedouin Moon just below us also enjoying the relative delights of airconditioned rooms for a time while his new transit visa for Saudi validates. 

We headed for the Red Sea Dive Resort 14kms down the South Coast towards the Saudi Border and arrived there to find a really new resort and wonderfully welcoming hosts - Mohammed and Abdullah.  Although the resort is not finished yet - all the building work is done, the pool completed and ready for use, the chef in place preparing delicious meals for breakfast and dinner - only 5 rooms have been furnished, the rest are planned to be finished in the next couple of weeks along with wifi internet access.  With the heat all around us cooling down to a mere 40degC by 8pm, we decided that sleeping in Sully would not be possible even though we were allowed to for JD5 each per night (including pool, showers & loos), so checked into a room for our stay. 

We'll be here for about 2 weeks, diving, resting and taking it easy whilst we wait for Markus & friend to join us for the next stage of our journey - crossing to Egpyt on the Aqaba-Nuweiba ferry.