Sunday, March 03, 2019

Saturday March 2nd 2019

The alarm is set to "Early".
I am out of bed before 3am to be able to check out and walk to a nearby hotel.

The goal for this exercise is to take the bus to Petra. It leaves at 4am.
It is not fun. I am not a morning person. >.<

We are using Flo Shuttle bus that goes from/to several locations in Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

From Jerusalem, we first travel east and then south following the Dead Sea. About an hour into the bus ride we encounter a police road block (i.e. one car and one police officer) - and we need to turn around.
For an unknown reason we cannot go further on this road.

So back again and we try another southbound road. This time in the middle of Israel.

This time we travel quite far before we have the next incident.
At around 10 am, we get a flat tire.

Or I should say the tire is ripped apart.

So here we are - and the driver first starts talking about how everyone will be picked up and go back to Jerusalem.
Several of us did not agree to that statement. In the end, the travel company realize that some have hotels waiting at Petra, some at Eilat - and some are on the way to the Eilat airport.

An additional problem is that it's Saturday today - Sabbath - and finding drivers (to come with new buses) is not an easy task.

But in the end, it works out (at least for us) and after about 1 hour and 40 minutes; me, Henrik and a few others got picked up by a smaller bus and they drive us to the Jordan border at Aqaba.

Here we need to leave the bus to walk over the border (you cannot just drive vehicles over the border).
But first a surprise; we need to pay some border officer 100 ILS to leave Israel. Some kind of fee.
It's the first time I have to pay to leave a country. Very strange.

Then we walked over the border.

At the Jordan side of the border we had to wait another 40 minutes before a new (Jordan) bus came to take us the last two-hour long stretch.

Jordan landscape is similar to Israel, but with some more mountains, especially the closer we came to Petra.

Finally, at around 5pm, we reached our hotel at Petra; the Petra Guest House.
And for the first time today, we got a pleasant surprise; for some reason they had upgraded us to a Superior Room which had a porch and everything. Yay!

After settling in (and freshening up) in our room (#333) we went to a restaurant nearby, which had been recommended to us; The Red Cave.
I tried the Mansaf (Lamb leg with yogurt sauce). It was pretty OK, nothing more, nothing less.

Then back to the hotel to be well-rested for tomorrow!!

1 comment:

Henke said...

The early morning hour was brutal!

I woke up when we stopped by the police. Very disappointing to return to Jerusalem and go even further in the wrong direction to Tel Aviv to the other highway going south. Very strange that there were no short cuts between the highways, I thought.

Then the breakdown with the ruined tire. We got stuck in the desert for a couple of hours, and a nice sun tan on top of the head as the result. Funny enough the driver had no idea that some of us were going to Petra for several days, while the most were going round trip for the day. Those passengers were offered to go again the day after as the whole trip was so delayed that they would not make it back.

It was little odd to pay to exit maybe, but even more odd was that the visa cost to Jordan, that we expected via information on the net, didn’t exist. They never asked for it anyway.

In the end we arrived in Petra, and the karma to get an unexpected upgrade of the room. Very nice.

Dinner was ok-