I had a sleepless night as I frequently had to dash from my bed to be sick outside, I wasn’t the only one who was suffering as I overheard someone else throwing up in the early hours, clearly a few pieces of chicken weren’t properly cooked. Breakfast was served from 0600 but not feeling like I could stomach any food I hard a small glass of tea and sat sipping at my water.
We were meant to be back in Rum village for 0800 but by 0800, having sat around for half an hour we were still at our campsite, after bringing it to thee attention of the chef a hasty phone call ensured a 4×4 arrived at our location half an hour later. Having missed the only bus of the day to Aqaba, our next stop, by a few hours we caught another bus up to the main highway and hailed down a minivan travelling South to the coast and Aqaba.
On arrival into Aqaba we explained to a taxi driver that we wanted to purchase tickets to Neuwieba on the Sinai Peninsula, after some discussion with a shop owner we got back on the bus we had just got off, to great hilarity to 3 ladies still onboard, and we were deposited outside the doors of the ferry ticket office. After paying $75 for the crossing we went in search of some WiFi, a commodity we had been without for over 24 hours, not a common experience these days.
Despite our best efforts to log onto a hotel’s WiFi we weren’t successful, the first place we found to be fruitful was a McDonalds. I am a firm advocator of eating local food when travelling and avoiding western establishments but when WiFi is required the likes of Starbucks and McDonalds have come to the rescue on occasion. We managed to while away a couple of hours whilst nursing our fizzy drinks, neither of us felt like eating anything but we made full use of the AC and internet access.
Finally Emily felt like eating so we upped sticks and left. We found a postbox as I needed to send some postcards and then meandered about the streets, desperately trying to stick to the sparse shady patches, in search of somewhere ‘cheapish’ to dine. A kebab house with inside seating came up trumps so we spent another hour and a bit inside there whilst Emily eat and I read as I still wasn’t in a fit state to digest anything solid.
Not wanting to spend the whole day bouncing between air conditioned cafes we went to visit line of the 3 ‘sights’ of Aqaba. Described as “remains of ruins” by Lonely Planet it lived up to the low expectations we had of them, feeling we had seen them fully in 2 minutes we returned to McDonalds for another drink, more WiFi and AC. We still had 4 hours until we were able to go to the ferry terminal and with both of us feeling less than 100% we didn’t fancy braving the 40°C heat for no reason so we bought a second drink later on as well as a Mcflurry (for Emily) and a cheese burger (for me) for dinner as we both felt we could eat something albeit with diminished appetites. I also found time too start and finish the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
The ferry terminal was about a 15 minute drive out of the city centre. When we got there we put our luggage through a security scanner before being escorted to the departures desk to pay the 10JD tax. We were then allowed to go to the passport desk and officially leave Jordan. We then had about an hour wait before loading started. During this time we got talking to a Palestinian lady who was travelling to Egypt with her husband and 4 children (all aged 11 or younger) she was especially chatty with Emily and found it very strange and impressive (she was a teacher) that we both sat there reading and nobody else in the departure hall was. The journey itself was spent predominantly asleep for both of us.