we had to change our itinerary of way out from Egypt if we really wanted to go to Iran afterwards. that is because the bureaucracy says nobody who has an Israeli stamp in his passport can not enter to the country, that is why we change our mind and in the way we found Jordan
the Hachemit kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy a peace oasis between Syria,Iraq,Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. despite being surrounded by mess it manage enough to keep besides all the violence on middle east.
we took an eternal ferry from nuweiba from egyptian soil and we skipped Israel for a while just to get to the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, where the ambient and the air is quite different from that in Egypt.
We realizad about that as we walked looking for a place to camp near the beach, women sitting among men smoking nargile, tidy traffic and gazes of curiosity and welcoming. Salaj was calling us, a palestinian man that came as a refugee long time ago , invited us to sit down with his friends, we asked him where we can find a place for set up our tent and he kindly said: right here ! pointing at his orchard 30 meters away from the sea in the middle of the city.
He was living at Wadi Rum around 50 km from there right at the desert, he gave us his telephone number in case we pass through there, a real gentleman giving us the official welcome to Jordan.
the next day we tried to walk away from the city center on the way to the dead sea. the first car stop in no more then 15 minutes.
Khalil drove us 7 km just outside the city but with enough time to updating us about the latest news, the king of Jordan was in Aqaba and there was a snow storm coming up to Petra the next days.
The second car took us to the police check point, the young guy work there. we asked what he think about the king of Jordan and we had the same answer as the guy before: we love the king ! we knew afterwards that make any offense against the image of the monarchy is punished for the law with jail. Abdullah’s II photo is all over the country.
An electronic engineer drove us 200 km until the dead sea where that night we planned to camp. during the trip we talked about the king, politics and above all, Islam. The man was very sure on his faith and despite that we were not agree in all the aspects, he gave us back the trust in people but no in religion.
we camped by the dead sea during the coldest wave in years, something rare for these neighborhoods. the next day rain, wind and goodbye to our plans to float on the dead sea.
we continued hitch hiking until the border with Palestine, a beduin drove us in his truck.
We crossed some days to palestine , we gonna tell about that on a later post, and we came back to Jordan to go deeper in it.
A day in the life:
We woke up beside the road in our little yellow house a few kilometres after Madaba. The sunshine remembered us that we forgot to float on the dead sea and experiment the physics in it, the first time we could not do it because the deadly trident: rain,cold and wind.
this was our chance.
we came back to Madaba where it says that god showed the promise land to Moses with a forty something years old guy. in 10 minutes we were at the church that remember that story with byzantines mosaics but we continue our way down because the church was close, Jesus don’t want us for a sunbeam.
two beduins took us in their truck on the back side, the best place for see the mountains, the sheeps and the beduin tents by the road.
we jumped into the water and we floated at the dead sea, photo and coming back to Maqaba while the shopkeepers nearby were watching Barbara coming out from the water.
On the way back we did not even rose our arms and Salem, the man with 2 wives and mahmoud with only one gave us a ride. According to the word of Allah is allow to have until 4 wives. Salem is jordanian, Jordan is an arab muslim country, the arabs muslims are under the islamics laws therefore Salem is on his own right. Mahmoud also but he said that he has no enough money for that.
he stopped at the center of the town and he gifted us water, soft drinks, chocolates and falafel sandwiches and took us to a cafe beside the road just outside the town for say goodbye with our picture of Iguazu waterfalls of Argentina in his pocket, that was our way to say thanks for to much.
5 minutes later the owner of the shop invited us to spend the night at his house. the second invitation in less than 10 minutes after Salem.
But the third one came from father and son when they gave us a ride to the next town. the destiny is weird and after all we ended up sleeping at our tent that night near the Karak castle, made by the crusaders 1000 years ago.
Next day we continue to Wadi Musa, the town that has one of the seven man made wonders of the world, la Nabatean city of Petra totally sculpted on the rocks with almost 2000 years old.
that day we travelled with at least 10 different cars. one of the most remembered for us was “Yoma” a beduin who live between the mountains in his tent, he invited us for a tea and after he dropped us off at the police check point.
Kaldon was a delivery guy who was on the way to Wadi Musa, he had our same age. we made the last part of the job with him, he was so tired and he managed to smoke 4 packs of cigarettes per day as he confessed , is the way to stay wake up, he said. his lungs could be destroyed but his heart was in very good conditions.
when we got to Wadi Musa and he called to his brother who was english teacher. he translated us what Kaldon said: you are welcome here in our house in Amman at any time. we said thank you but was the place where we were coming. we gave him a picture of Argentina and he went down to rest. he deserved it.
Soon we found a place to put our little yellow house and we went to sleep with ours bellies empty and our hearts full.
we putted our heads waiting for the axe coming down and the 70 dollars that we had to pay for the ticket fee to Petra a Unesco world heritage with prices from another world.
The place itself is incredible even when you think about it, a lost city made of rock in the middle of the desert of a lost civilization seems that came out from a movie. probably that’s why the people remember more “Indiana Jones” than the nabatean civilization itself. anyway we did not know anything neither about even 5 minutes before pay the ticket but we know who is harrison Ford for sure.
we read that the scholars do not know much about this civilization neither, only that they worshipped a god called “Diushara” and that most of the big buildings are tombs but they know Harrison Ford for sure.
We left Petra and we went finally 105 km to Wadi Rum, besides its beauty is also famous for be the place where “Lawrence of Arabia”the british that joined and fought in favor of the arabs in the early 20 century, near the border with Saudi Arabia. We got there at the sunset just on time for put our tent by a 2000 years old Nabatean temple.
The next day we went deep into the desert and we found some tents made from wool that belongs to a beduin family. Merbarak came out to find us and invited us to stay.
His family belongs to a beduin tribe from Arabia, when there was no limits they went and came all over the area, until the 20 century someone created the borders and a small part of the tribe remained at Jordan and the other one in Saudi Arabia.
We got into the tent and was incredibly fresh, divided into sections for man and woman. the female section is called “Haram” that means “no allowed”, from there the word “Harem”
the mother of Merbarak brought some tea and after her the two daughters showed up. when we tried to appoint the names for remember, Merbarak said kindly: sorry but is not allowed to take photos nor write the names of the woman in our culture.
He was 17 years old and was a smart young guy with great capacity and keen to learn english. While we shared the tea we saw ourselves explaining the problematic of the argentinian politics to a beduin family in the middle of the jordan desert with a great synthesis :
“Politician, take the money away, people poor” a minimalistic concept well applicated we guess.
after we did show them where we are from on the map, Merbarak’s mother asked us if we have rain in Argentina, a serious subject for people who live in the desert and hardly see some drops during months.
we came out for a walk in the desert and when we came back Merbarak’s father was at home with all the goats and they were waiting for us for dinner. we sat on the floor around the fire and after the dinner the chief of the family started to smoke on a pipe made from stone and wood meanwhile they stood up and gathered in front the TV for the ritual of 8 pm.
Women crying, love stories, tears at beduin camps in the middle of the desert with advertisement every 10 minutes with the same kind of propaganda that you could see in every part of the world but adapted for semi nomads.
it does not matter where you are , you always will get the soap advertisement with the smiley guy making an interview to ecxited house wives, in this case with hijab
Our days at the desert were finish. Ali and his friend drove us until the Aqaba port where we had to take a ferry back to Egypt, but first we stopped on the way at the university where his friend study for drink the last coffee with cardamom.
The University is public in Jordan is public but cost u$700 per month. it was not that public taking into account that not many Jordanians can afford it.
I study because i got a big farm. Ali does not study because he has a small farm and his father passed away so he must work for support his 4 brothers, his friend says.
Ali was the last Jordanian that we met in his land. hi said goodbye at the port before we take the ferry. we crossed our ways and when we though in him once again we already left Jordan.