Monday, October 19, 2009

Arrived in Aqaba, Jordan

Goodbye Egypt, Hello Jordan, and of course, you folks.  Finally after 10 days a real working internet cafe.  We are in Aqaba, Jordan, arriving after a two hour ferry ride from Nuwiba, Egypt.  As I mentioned yesterday Belinda had one of her more spiritual experiences hiking up to the top of Mt. Sinai and catching the sunset.  This "could be" the place where Moses received the 10 Commandments.  Our guide says "could be" as there are three possible routes for the Exodus from Egypt.  We took the most likely route via Mt. Sinai.  It is in the middle of nowhere, if you consider that "Moses' Mountain" was nowhere.  To the Israelites at the time, it was THE place to be.  This is a photo of one of our travel mates.  You'll have to picture Belinda until we share our photos with each other.

This is the trail up to Mt. Sinai.  If you look at what looks like a "W" in the mountain, they were headed to the right leg of the "W".  After an hour camel ride, they had to hike 30 more minutes straight up the mountain and then climb 750 steps to the top.  Guess who was first?  No, I already told you I didn't go.  It was Belinda.  Not surprised after her conquest of Waynu Pichu at Machu Pichu.

Then imagine hiking down in pitch darkness with just the fantastic stars and a wind up flashlight.  WHAT A WOMAN !!

Today, Monday, Oct. 19th, we left our, for want of a better word, crappy hotel just below Mt. Sinai and took the bus. . . . did I tell you we now have 45 damn tourists on this bus !!!  We went from 15 to 45.  Some are religious fanatics.  On a damn religious tour !!  DAMN !!  Some of these "newbies" are so out of touch.  Heck, they probably voted for Bush !!  Anyway, we took the bus to St. Catherine's Monastery where the Burning Bush and Moses met up, if he took this route.  I wish we were allowed to take pictures within the Monastery chapel because it was absolutely gorgeous!  Now if you know me, I don't use the word "gorgeous" often.  Usually it doesn't refer to a church but this knocked my socks off, if I had been wearing socks instead of sandals.  Belinda thought I was supposed to spell it "scandals" but I think she was referring to something else on the tour.

Anyway, after St. Catherine's, we headed to the Gulf of Aqaba, had a nice lunch at the edge of the Red Sea and got our feet wet.  We got to the ferry terminal and here's the routine:

  1. Sit on the bus for 30 minutes
  2. Get off and take our luggage from the bus through a security scanner.
  3. Took luggage to be loaded on cart
  4. Got back on bus
  5. Drove around the corner
  6. Got off the bus to stand in line for 45 minutes to have our passport stamped
  7. Got back on the bus
  8. Drove 2 blocks
  9. Get off the bus and get on the car compartment of the ferry
  10. Get our ticket checked while being herded on like cattle (Scotty mooed)
  11. Go to the end of the car compartment and get in line to go through the single line passenger door while cars were backing into the compartment (if the heat and fumes of the boat weren't enough, the exhaust helped)
  12. Climb the stairs to the passenger compartment where our ticket was taken
  13. Grab a seat
  14. Group gets told to move, refused
  15. One hour later get told to move again, refused
  16. Passports taken
  17. Two hours later arrive in port
Now it gets interesting. Our guide tells us to get luggage and go through customs.  Sounds simple but we don't know where to begin to tell you what happened.  Belinda is still laughing.  Mostly at our travel companions.

You figure it out !

More later...

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