Amman/Jordan – Aqaba/Jordan

Hello there!

Finally, some more lines in english about our time in Jordan between Amman and Aqaba.

We left Amman in the morning, direction South, up a steep, exhaust-poisoned road, passing the smile of Bruce Willis ;) and after some unvoluntary extra Kilometers we found the right road leading to the Dead Sea. Well, Amman cannot be called a clean and healthy city or an especially attractive capital. To be honest, we were glad to be out again, but still, we do not regret it, that we stopped there.

So it was already afternoon, when we were following gravity downhill, down to this salty sea, some 400m below sea level with speeds of 60-70 km an hour, breaking even into the 80’s! Great fun! Especially on a recumbent. We were cycling side to side along the quiet road along the east bank. The mild temperatures, the setting sun, the scenery – it was one of these special-happy moments to remember.

At night the stars above you, lightyears away, the Dead Sea, about 100m down there, the lights of a town/village on the other side of this invisible borderline, Westbank, the rocky ground underneath your back. Silence. Peace.

The next morning we had to stop again after only 5 km at one of these lonely police check points. It was obvious, so early in the morning, that we didn’t spent the night in one of theses resorts at Amman Beach, some 40 km away. We had to park the bikes and to sit down, to give them time to do some calls and to prepare some tea. Time to observe each other, to do some comments, in english, arabic or german ;) and to please their confidence, that Jordan is a wonderful country. Finally the ‚tea-master‘ arrived and we had to drink 2 glasses of this soapy tea-syrup before they let us move on.

About an hour later we were down at the water and our bikes with us. Memories from our way up the Etna vulcano, in September 2000. It was also warm enough to enjoy the feeling of beeing naked and to step into this salty-hydrophil water, which allows you to float on the surface like kork.

Then, it was already afternoon, we had to pay back our credit in altitude, plus an incredible amount of interests, as Tom put it. From -400m up to Karnak to +1100m! But it was fun as well! I was feeling strong and happy, going up these percentages. Only the cold temperatures at night (again below 0) buffered our happiness. The next day was even harder, but the scenery was worth the effort! After another night with minus 5 and only plain Pasta with tomato mark for diner, I could feel already, that I need a break in Wadi Musa, the small town next to the world famous site of Petra.

It was a great feeling beeing there, finally, looking down onto these sandstone formations, which hide the actual man made monuments. I have to admit, that I did not know of Petra before. Elisas brother German told me in August about his visit there and so I was curios, no question. But my decision was clear, after some previous research in the internet and now, standing there and looking down. I didn’t feel any desire to pay 20 Euros for a day ticket and to see what Millions of (mainly US-american) Petra-tourists have paid to see.

Thomas didn’t want to go in either and I knew that before. But it was still important for me to be there, to see the setting, the whole touristic business arround and also to know, that a place like this exists. The rest I can see in pictures and books too, when I am interested. I also asked the question to Thomas: How many of these ‚tourists‘ would pay and go in there if you would take away their cameras? I would say: less than half of them!

So we left Wadi Musa in the afternoon and the road went down and up again… until we reached a nice view point for the sunset. Also about time to look for a place to camp. We were still high up, about 1500 m, no trees no nothing. At this moment a soldier approached us. First I thought – problems ahead. But then he was inviting us to his station – a station of the King Husseein Security Guards. He was alone there and had a guest room with simple beds to offer. We also needed a shower urgently, although there was no heating, only one of these little diesel-ovens in his ‚living room‘. There we had a simple diner with him and one of his supervisors, who could speak english.

How lucky we are! Such a chance to get some insight in a life of a Jordan soldier and to talk to an english teacher/military supervisor who studied in Iraq! Plus that I would have suffered much more, if we would have spent this night outside. In bed I was feeling weak, I couldn’t get warm, later had a fever attack and stomach pain…

The next morning we could hear the wind blowing and only the thought of getting out there made me shiver. But we had to. We wanted to get to Aqaba, down to the sea! We were sick of these cold nights. Thanks to the Jordan Guard for the hospitality! It was a beautyful road, winding on through these high mountains, but almost too much for me this day! Then it was going down, finally. We stopped in this village and I had to lay down.

Now it was my turn. Too much is too much. Thomas still remembers very well this feeling. We know, the only thing you can do is to rest properly. So we did, after a long, long downhill stage, in Aquaba.

That’s where we met David the first time. He saw our bikes outside of the retaurant, where we just had a tea and coffee with Marco Coppollse, a former manager, whom we met at the view point near Petra. Well, David is another ‚crazy‘ or better curios cyclist, who started in Fribourg/ Switzerland in September and who took a similar route, crossing Albania, Greece, Turkey and Syria. Our first bike-traveller! So we had another tea together and he helped us to find a cheap accomodation.

The next day I was feeling a bit better but still to weak, looking over the gulf of Aqaba at the mountaineous coast of the Sinai. We went to the egyptian embassy to apply for our Visa. Our plans have changed. We wanted to take the direct way to Taba, crossing Israel, in order to avoid the 45 $ ferry to Nuweiba, from where we would have to cycle about 80 km back north against the wind…

Alright, I know, it was a long text. Hope you can enjoy it anyway.

Maik ;)

pictures to this article: Amman/Jordanien – Aqaba/Jordanien : Fotos

19. Dezember 2006 - Maik | english texts | Kommentare :: comments :: comentarios | Inhalt drucken

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