Welcome to Jordan!

Lately, it seems as though many of the travel bloggers whom I follow have made their way to Jordan.

I was lucky enough to visit this stunning country in the Middle East four years ago. Although, at the time I didn’t feel so lucky. I wanted to get the hell out of there.

Having read so much about Jordan lately, it is a place I’d like to revisit. Our trip was very short, in and out, to see the ancient city of Petra.

We crossed the border, which was nothing more than a strip of highway from Eilat, Israel, into Jordan. You take a taxi to the border crossing, get out and walk along a section of highway and bam welcome to Jordan.

Welcome to Jordan!

Hot, sweaty and suffering from a nasty cold, I was happy to jump into an air conditioned taxi that met us at the other side.

Our taxi driver, (whose name now escapes me) seemed friendly and welcoming. We happily accepted the tea he offered us when we stopped at a road side shack along the way. Even better, he knew of a wonderful hotel we could stay at for a very cheap price.

Since we’d read about the Valentine Inn in our trusty Lonely Planet, we happily accepted his suggestion.  Of course this was a place in town run by his friends, so it’s likely he received some sort of kick back for bringing us in.

We bantered back and forth with the cab driver for the two hour drive through the barren landscape. Miles of desert stretched before us and the occasional goat dotted the land.

I still liked our cab driver at this point…

We chatted with the cabbie about his children and I gave him some Canadian flag pins that I’d been carrying around. Before arriving at our destination he told us there weren’t many taxis that came through town. But, if we gave him a $25 deposit he’d happily pick us up to return to Israel two days later.

We thought he seemed honest, so happily gave him the $25. Can you say SUCKERS?!?  Who in their right mind gives a cab driver a deposit? I don’t blame you if you’re laughing at me.

The following day we stopped to chat with a taxi driver in town. He informed us that the amount we’d given as a deposit was actually the total amount it should cost us to get back. I guess you could say we’d been taken for a ride?! To top it off, apparently he wasn’t even driving an official cab.

Before checking out of the Valentine Inn my travel partners confronted the hotel owner (I have since become much more assertive). The owner knew that they’d been found out and told us not to give her friend anymore money. When he showed up he wasn’t pleased to realize that he’d been found out.

We made our way to the border with a very angry cab driver, furious that we wouldn’t be giving him any more cash. Our drive stretched on for a solid two hours. Two hours of silence, during which time I feared we’d be left at the side of the highway. I pictured us dragging ourselves through the desert parched and dripping with sweat. No car for miles.

At one point our gracious driver took the Canadian flag pins I’d given him and threw them at me in the back seat. He was furious.

The most heart stopping moment of the journey came closer to the end of the trip. The car slowed to a stop and we were pulled over to a military check-point. As the machine gun welding border guard checked our passports, I could feel him look me up and down.

I clearly remember the rotting teeth and beady eyes and a sense of dread that we wouldn’t make it back to the border. After he searched our bags, he sent us on our way.

As I got back into the cab I was hit with an enormous sense of relief. The drive to the border stretched on for what felt like hours. Very few words were exchanged as we were terrified of being thrown out of the cab and left at the side of the road. Once again, I pictured myself lost in the middle of nowhere, in the Jordanian desert.

Don’t think I’d want to get left behind here…

As we made our way back across the border and into Israel I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I’ve never been so happy to arrive in a country.

Were I to visit Jordan again, I know my experience would be quite different. With many more travel experiences under my belt I’d definitely have a different sense of appreciation and understanding for the country.  I did however love my time at Petra – but will save that for another blog entry!

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About AdventuressAbroad

adventure seeker.traveling fanatic.food lover.occasional blabbermouth.travel-based PR professional.

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2 Comments on “Welcome to Jordan!”

  1. truetravelingtales Says:

    Wow, not a good journey BTW I’m loving your blog

    Reply

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