|Our hotel viewed from the water|
When I inquired with the bellman at our Petra hotel about securing a taxi to drive us to Aqaba, he told me that he had a "friend" with a taxi that would be glad to take us. His friend turned out to be reliable, friendly and a decent driver. A little air conditioning and better shock absorbers would have helped though.
|The desert between Petra and Aqaba|
|The road cutting through the desert. Note the car and truck both going the same direction....this was not a four lane highway.|
|Taking the sheep to market|
|More desert views|
This was Grant's second time scuba diving and first time jumping in from the boat; he did great. Among other things, we saw a sea turtle, lion fish, an octopus and lots of eels. We also dove around a freighter that was intentionally scuttled to form a reef.
|The dive boat.|
|Ready for his first boat dive. You just walk off the end of the boat.|
|Grant and his dive instructor, Luis (from Argentinia)|
The driver from the hotel to the four-wheeling site was courteous but didn't seem to speak much English. On the way, the three of us started to discuss our dives that day. Suddenly his English became very good. He had a "friend" with a boat that could take us diving the next day. Thank you very much, but we'll stick with the hotel dive shop.
The four-wheeling in the desert was interesting. We weren't exactly in the middle of nowhere. In fact, we were surprised at how much trash was blowing around. It was more like riding around a sandy industrial site. The leader also liked to stop, drive one of us around on the back of his bike while the other two sat and did nothing. We finally convinced him that we all wanted to ride at the same time, which for some reason seemed like quite a surprise to him.
|No we're not on the moon.|
|Easy Rider.....and his parents|
At the end we were riding in the dark. A vehicle pulled off the highway and drove towards us; it turned out to be a Jordanian Army truck with a mounted machine gun in the bed. Three soldiers got out, had a one-cigarette conversation with the leader, got back in the truck and left. When we asked him about it afterward, he said the soldiers were his "friends". I wasn't really scared, but I must admit that as we drove away I kept looking behind me to make sure they weren't setting up to have a little target practice.
|Passing the time before diving.|
|We felt like movie stars...when the boat left the harbor, these guys took lots of pictures.|