Back On The Couch In Amman

After more than two weeks of hotels and hostels, I found myself Couchsurfing again when I arrived in Amman. It was a great way to end my time in the Middle East with some more local perspective.

My host was Wasim, a 35 year old Jordan who grew up in Libya, got his masters in San Diego and now works as a manager for Kia Motors overseeing their territory in Jordan and Kurdistan.

From the moment we met, Wasim made me feel completely at home. Employing trademark Middle Eastern hospitality, Wasim insisted on showing me as much of Amman as he could, from the best places to get chicken schwarma and mansaf to Rainbow Street, a popular Jordanian party area. We smooked hookah with Alison and Jenny (whom I had met in Petra) and grabbed a drink at a local Irish pub (which is considered somewhat upscale in Amman and is Irish in name only). Perhaps more importantly, as a fellow fitness buff, he took me to his gym twice.

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Jordan’s Wonders

Despite my challenging circumstances getting to Jordan, I quickly moved on from Aqaba.

My first stop was a visit to Wadi Rum, where I had arranged to take a hiking and jeep tour through the desert while spending the night in a Bedouin camp. With no buses running there from Aqaba I had to take a taxi albeit at a good price.

It was my most expensive activity of the trip so far but based on what I had read it seemed like a must. From the moment I arrived at the home of Attallah, who runs the tour company that I went with, Bedouin Lifestyles, and is a Bedouin who spent his first ten years living in tents, everything was first class and completely taken care of.

Fortuitously, a Canadian couple (John and Brenda) living in Dubai, showed up soon after I arrived and since we were dong similar tours I was able to tag along with them, both lowering the cost of my stay and giving me some company.

camel riding in Wadi Rum

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Crossing Jordan

I couldn’t leave Egypt without one last figurative punch to the face. My trip from Egypt to Jordan ended up being more tumultuous than I had bargained for and I’d like to recount it briefly here.

Not wanting to wake up super early to catch the 6 am ferry to Jordan, I opted instead to try for a noon ferry. The boat was sxheduled to leave from Nuweiba, a town an hour north of Dahab where I spent my last three days in Egypt. The bus from Dahab to Nuweiba dropped me at the port at 11:45 am so I was scrambling to try to get on the noon ferry. Read more of this post

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