If you had to pick one passion, what would it be?
I'm talking about something other than family, friends, etc. You know, more like a hobby...
For me, it is travel...without question.
I want to go everywhere...well, almost. There are a handful of places in this world that I could skip.
Last December, we were fortunate to take our dream trip to Israel for two weeks. Since I am the travel agent in the family, I insisted that we do a day trip to Jordan in order to see Petra, one of the Seven New Wonders of The World. I didn't know at the time that getting to Petra would be almost as exciting as Petra itself.
I mean, it isn't everyday that you get to have tea in the desert with camels!
We were staying in the resort town of Eilat, Israel, which is the southernmost tip of the country. From our hotel, we could look across the Red Sea -- yes, the very one Moses parted -- to the mountains of Jordan. We'd be driving through those mountains on our way to Petra.
|A view of Jordan from our hotel in Eilat, Israel|
You heard me right. Walk. As in across the border.
Words cannot explain this experience. Were we scared? No. We knew a lot of people who had done this same walk. Nervous? A little. I mean, here we were, crossing into a middle eastern country that formerly was an enemy of Israel...on foot...by ourselves. But mostly, it was flat-out incredible. And once we were in Elias' hands, any jitters we had were put to rest.
Our drive to Petra would take 2 hours. We started in Aqaba, which is supposed to be "THE" next luxurious resort destination. Then we headed up into the mountains we had seen across the Red Sea from our hotel in Israel.
|Riding up towards the mountains in Jordan to Petra|
Very soon, we were in the Wadi Rum Desert, riding along the only road that runs through it.
|Aerial view of desert flying into Eilat, Israe|
"Camels? You want to see camels? I can arrange that."
Next thing we know, we're pulling off the side of the road, to a little tent in the desert...and there were camels! Their quarters were a little shabby, don't you think?
We were greeted by a Bedouin man. Seems he had some tourist gig going with Elias. Did we care that these were touristy camels? No, we did not! We were in a real desert, with real camels, and a real Bedouin man. Hello, photo op!
The man was lovely, and offered us some tea, which we accepted, because it would have been rude not to. Uh, yeah, I was totally skeeved to think about just how he washed (or didn't wash) those glasses, and how many other tourists drank out of them. But, we survived, and none of us got sick.
We got to take our photos with the camels, and the Bedouin man...which was really what it was all about. I'd show you pictures of us with the camels, but Mr. Goo Shoes, Junior Goo Shoes and Aunt Goo Shoes (yes, she was with us) are shy when it comes to showing their faces on my blog.
You know how camels store water in their humps? Well, who knew they got their supply from bottled water!
After enjoying our tea with the camels and our Bedouin friend, we continued on our way to Petra...up, up, up into the mountains.
From one vantage point, we could see Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Unbelievable.
But nothing, and I mean NOTHING...could prepare us for the spectacle that is Petra.
More on that next week...
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