Thursday, November 30, 2006

Amaan Jordon to Eliat Israel

Petra Jordan....a rose-red city as half as old as time.......and home of India Jones I guess.

Notice the cops sleeping under the billboard

Mt. Nebo....where moses 1st saw the holy they say

Sure don't want to turn right!

Armed soldiers in McDonalds Isreal

Vegas type resorts in Eliat Isreal

They are joking aren't they?

Salam Alekum,
Just a short trip report for a short, 500km cycling trip, from The Airport 35km south of Aman to Elat, Israel on the Red Sea.

This was a 1 week, midterm getaway on a direct flight to Amman from Benghazi. I as out of the airport in a little over an hour and biked to the Moses monument for some some great views over to Jerusulum and the West bank, with the Dead Sea down below. The next few days I rode south along the King's highway, a twisted, mountainous road along the East Bank, with a couple of deep plunges down into the Wadi's. Very little traffic during Eid, especially in the morning and mostly doggie free. Further along to the ancient stone town of Dana and then on down to Petra, the rock-carved, rose-red city. On the 5th day I left the East bank and enjoyed a 2,000m+ drop down past Wadi Rum to the Red Sea. At 1:30 I'd done 140km and decided to see if I could get into Israel. This is normally not a problem for Canadians, except for the fact that the Libyans get a wee bit irate upon seeing an Israeli stamp in one's passport, in which case I would not be allowed to re-enter the country. Fortunately this is not a problem for the Jordanians or the Israelis, exept for the thorough 1/2 hour security check on the Isreali side and a phone call to the ministry of something or rather, to grant permission to pass without a stamp in my passport. And so I found myself in Elat, Israel and into a 1st world country, with all the usual material trappings; malls, fast food and glitzy hotels. From 2 bikes in all of Jordan to Tri-athlon bikes everywhere! I soon found out that there was an ITU triathlon the next day and considered it for a brief nono-second, but after 500km from Amman, I don't think it would have been a very pleasant experience (even for the cool t-shirt:) Spent the night at a youth hostel and took in the sights. Next day rode 10km to the Egyptian border but didn't push my luck any further. (The Israeli coast is only about 20km long) Watched the triathlon, bought some bike parts and clothes (things I can't get in Jordan or Libya) and rode back to Jordan and turned around just a few km from the Saudi Border. Bused it back to Amaan the next morning, stayed with a Jordanian Collegue and flew back the next day.
Note: Of course, the Libyans will be recieving an abrevieted version of this trip report, or we will be heading off to Colombia a bit sooner than expected :)
Now the next endorphin adventure is Christmas in Libya with Baby Bean due Dec 14th or so!