A Travellerspoint blog

A slight Detour

sunny 23 °C

Okay, so it wouldnt be a trip of mine if i didnt end up somewhere else than anticipated.

So i was sitting in the desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan, doing some slight reading as my climbing buddy had already moved on to Amman, and I find out that the border to Lebanon is only an hour and a half away from the Castle Crac Des Chaviliers. Hmmm, me thinks, we have time up our sleaves....."kris"...

And the next thing i know (okay, so i did some more travelling in Jordan and Syria) we are heading to the Lebanonese border! Boy was that an interesting route to take.

We had the kind taxi driver drop us off at the syrian immigration, and then we walked to where about a thousand taxi drivers wanted to drive us to the lebanonese immigration and then through to tripolli for aprox US$22. (we had been told it was only about $2), so stubbon me decides once the police resuce us, to walk to the immigration point and the bother about the taxis after that! So pack on the back, and about 1-2km walk, we finally made it past immigration and then (not so safely) to the car of a complying taxi.

As the lonely planet guide states, there are NO road rules in Lebanon! Which means that things get a little hairy when travelling the roads.

It was a relief to get to the pension that we are staying in, their adveritsing campaign of "miss your grand ma" rings true. Its a homely little place, run by a nice couple (or maybe brother and sister, my arabic is still not the greatest ;-))

Today has been perfect whether to wander around the city, we started in the "tell square" and then headed to the Grand Mosque, where we picked up the friendly guy (once again as mentioned in LP), who deicided that it was his duty to show us his wonderful city!

So anyway, after a couple of exhausting weeks, i needed a quiet rest in the shade. So while Kris ambled through the Tripolli Citidel, I once again opened the booked to find little history about the citidel, and a mention that beruit is only an hour and a half away....hmm....guess where we are headed tomorrow.

Posted by cathdoran 04:28 Archived in Lebanon Comments (0)

The Journey to Jordan

The Noahs Arch of Nationalities

So emad, the kind lad at penguin helps organise out way to petra in jordan! As go my luck! Life is easy.

He contacted his mate, organised a cheap pickup at the other end...and away we were. So grabed a service taxi, which was filled with 3 Americans...2 Girls (Lilly and Julia) and 1 Guy (shane)...Shane had picked the 2 girls up on the Nile.

The journey to Nueiba was full of conversation, but it come down to the matter that all of us were setting out for Petra. I mentioned our pre arranged cabs, sounded like an idea, and it started to look like the costs were coming down :-)

On arrival to Nueiba, we walked into the waiting station, and boy, did i feel like a fish out of water. There was Shane, the 2 American Girls, and us 2 Aussies. Everyone was male & ARAB! We certainly felt like we had too heads. So the 2 hour wait was fun! Shane got speaking to local arabs who were asking whether we were available to be there 2nd or 3rd wives. He then found out that in order to be classified a Heram, he needed 5 wives not 4. Luck held out for him, 2 spanish girls sort solace from the glares of the Arabs!

We were shepparded to the safety of the boat, and managed to seek out an fairly comfortable place, upon which all out passports were collected, and we started to fret!

Upon arrival to Aquaba, we were still worried about our passports, waiting until everyone else had cleared passport control, Kris & I and the 2 Spanish girls had retrieved our passports, just waiting for the Americans.

Anyway, finally on the road to Petra, and to the hotel, where we turned up with 7 and not the original 2, boy did we cause some confusion....

anyway more on petra later

Posted by cathdoran 07:30 Comments (0)

My first taste of the middle east

Egypt ~ Dahub

OK, so we land in Sharm el Shiek, and then a tax ride to the hotel in Dahub!

AMAZING desert views on the way! Watching the sun set behind the desert mountains was breathtaking....and then, it hit, we were in muslam country...the driver pulls over, washes he face feet and hands, and then goes about his prayers.

DAHUB is amazing! Fantastic people, very friendly and willing to meet your every desire. Emad, the guy at reception was very very friendly and was a great help! He provided some entertainment, and definately made the place feel a little like home.

Learning to scuba in the red sea was also remarkable. Like above the ground there were so many contrasts.

The feat of climbing mt sinai was next on the list. I laugh now when i think that i had orignially thought of climbing the steps of repentence....Thankgod (opps, maybe should not say that) we opted to follow the camel path. Tho it was next to freezing, the sunrise was pretty amazing....and then the almost 3000 steps down the mountain.

I was seperated from the others, which turned out to be amazing. I virtually had the whole area to myself, quiet! Definately a chance to get of thinking done.

Then back to Dahub for one last night, and a date with an egyptian. Kris and I had met Andy on our arrival into Dahub, and then during the week, he had popped up on a number of occasions, and had helped open another resturant. He invited Kris and I in to the new restuarant for an amazing dinner, traditional Egyptian Style. And both of us were amazed. After Kris and I left to say goodbye to a few of the other locals, i returned to met andy for a couple of drinks after he finished work.

It was an amazing night, great company and interesting conversations. Sitting on the upper deck watching the lights of dahub, with the stars above and the ability to look out to saudi arabia. A very innocent last night in Dahub, a perfect way to finish it off, and also a promise to met again in another life :-)

Posted by cathdoran 07:04 Comments (0)

My middle eastern adventures

The lead up!

ok, ok!

I know that I am really slack, but here goes!!

So the lead up to the BIG middle eastern adventure, i am jet setting to other european countries ~ and thereby really forgetting about the fact that i need to organise plane tickets, visas...and then my parents stuff!

6 days prior to take off!
So anyway, think that it may be wise to work out the whole overdraft just in case i need money. Prob a good thing, as during the process i find out that HSBC are in the process of closing down my accounts. Something to do with unusual activity (that is, i finally decided to start using the credit card)....so phew, catch that in time.

2 days prior to take off!
Was out on the town drinking for Mikes 30th! Did the ditch, and while trying to answer the phone from Mike i put my wallet down on the bench, and then forget it! So thankgod, i had managed NOT to take my cash card out! Hurredly cancelling credit cards just before flying out!

2 hours to go!!
Just make it to the airport, and then learn that the counter is about to close!! ARGH!! have been 2 used to the 90 mins check in allowed for european flights

Posted by cathdoran 06:40 Comments (0)

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