JORDAN: Aqaba & Amman II

Posted by on Apr 23, 2018 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

I must say, it’s good to find myself on the Red Sea after so much desert action. It will be nice to commune with my aquatic friends for three days here in Aqaba. A nice steamy shower proved euphoric as I rinsed away the red sands of Wadi Rum, and prepared myself for some some fresh caught fish for dinner.

My accommodations at Arab Divers are more than suitable, and their chef knows what he’s doing so I’ll find no reason to leave the property for anything other than for diving. WiFi is touch and go in my room, but there are many comfortable areas with a good signal where I can get caught up on my blog. And one of those is close to my other favorite sport, stuffing my face in the dining area.

I was concerned about damaging my shoulder while messing about with my dive gear. Paul, the resident dive specialist, helped me out with my kit, and prevented the possibility of further injury. I was most grateful for that, and my first dive in the Red Sea in almost twenty years was very pleasant indeed. I saw some corals that I had never seen before. One resembled a giant neon yellow/green cabbage of sorts, and they were scattered to an fro. I just found out that the the name for it is, not surprisingly, cabbage coral.

My routine for the next two days will no doubt be eat-dive-eat-blog-nap-blog-eat-blog-sleep.

ARAB DIVERS – A friendly, laid back, professional dive hotel proving yet again that I know how to pick a winner.

BARRACUDA ROOM #6 – I recommend reserving this room since it is on a nice, quiet courtyard. Also barracudas are cool, and the barking dogs in the neighborhood cannot be heard from this spot.

For a Dive Hotel, the beds are very comfortable, and what a luxury to sleep in something larger than a twin bed! The A/C works great, the showers are hot, there is a mini fridge, and the room is large. The shower and toilet are in a separate area as well. I’m in heaven.

Here I sit in the shade eating lunch, peeking at the Red Sea, and following up with a relaxing blogathon. The lentil soup, tandoori chicken, and the fresh fish were all excellent.

And if you haven’t had enough water time, there’s always time for a dip in the pool.

After two days of diving here, I have found there to be a copious quantity of trash around the dive sites. Also there seems to be a fair amount of dead coral in keeping with what I’ve been seeing in other parts of the world. That said, I have found plenty to enjoy as well. Lots of sea anemone with cavorting clownfish, an octopus, and a full spectrum of colorful tropical fish.



                                      AMMAN PART II

My four hour ride back to Amman in a VIP bus was inexpensive and comfortable. They even supplied free water and a sandwich, and a personal TV that didn’t work which didn’t matter because I don’t speak the language. It rained for the better part of the journey, but let up just before we arrived in Amman.

I took a taxi to my hotel, only to be informed that the room I had reserved was not available. This was actually a good thing since I really hated the damned hotel which was located in the noisest of possible neighborhoods. I was taken by taxi to a serviceable alternative that was quiet and just two minutes from my favorite, Al Quds Restaurant. At $28 a night, the Farah Hotel was a lucky break last minute on a Friday.

My least favorite thing in the world is a dry, chaotic, shabby, clusterf#ck of a city, but I like Amman and it yet it embodies all of these traits in spades. I just don’t get it. Perhaps it is the welcoming and hospitable Jordanian people that completely manage to offset what would normally constitute a buzzkill of a non-starter for me. It is exotic but very safe, and sometimes dirty, but without risk of food poisoning.

Heads up Mr. Pants vendor, there’s a half mannequin about to take off with a pair of jeans.

Food Alley

Watch Man

But I’m on a mission to find a few things to help me complete a project.

Crossing the street Amman style.

Relative calm in front of the mosque.

In search of a common kitchen sifter, and maybe a little funnel.

Wadi Rum Hour Hour Glass Project

Sifted sands spirited away from the Desert of Wadi Rum.

Which would you want? One filled with authentic red, Wadi Rum sand or the one with the cheesy, dyed, purple sand? One is for me, and once I get the sand in the other, that will be a gift for my buddy who gave me the heads up on “Lawrence of Arabia.”

HABIBAH SWEETS – Jordanian’s favorite dessert spot in Amman specializing in one dessert.

KUNAFA – This cheese filled delight has Jordanians lining up outside the shop every day. Everyone in Amman knows this place, and has probably been here multiple times. I am glad to have made it here once when I found a break in the crowd. My just desserts after completing my hour glass project.

Here you see the locals indulging in their favorite sweet.


Amman has actually proved to be a good training wheel for India which has me concerned. The current temperature in New Delhi is 105, but at least I can hide in my air conditioned room. The next morning I catch my train to Agra which is the location of the Taj Majal.



  1. Dina
    April 23, 2018

    Looking forward to seeing pics John!

  2. The Travel Zealot
    April 23, 2018

    Dina, There’s always Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Amman, and Petra. Getting caught up on Petra, Wadi Rum, but not much in Aqaba since I’ll be hanging out underwater with the fish. The room here is comfortable and the food is delicious. Will be. Get Yelena to show Meechka the adventures of Paka John. There’s a camel or two in there she might be interested in.

  3. Jason
    May 1, 2018

    Love the hour glass project. clever and fun. I think its going to be a big hit with your peeps. You are a gifted gift giver. G.G.G.

  4. The Travel Zealot
    May 1, 2018

    When I shipped a DHL box back home from Amman two days ago, I made sure to pack four hour glasses. So one for Doomcock, Amber, and me. And the last one was reserved for you if you are into that sort of thing since you are a major Travel Zealot peep.

  5. Dicktor Van Doomcock
    May 16, 2018

    Oh my God! Travel Zealot…there are no words! Thank you my friend! CHRIST! An hour glass with the sands of Wadi Rum in it…WOW. To have a bit of that amazing place in my Lair, in an hourglass…the sands of time indeed!

    Thank you my friend. I am speechless.


    Wearing a huge smile beneath my mask,
    – – Doomcock (aka Lucky McDoomcock)!

  6. The Travel Zealot
    May 16, 2018

    Hell that was easy. Like shooting ducks in a barrel. I gathered a container of sand outside of my tent before leaving Wadi Rum with the intention of putting it in some sort of meaningful container. Then I stumbled upon those hourglasses in Amman and the die was cast. Most of them were sealed completely, but there was a variety that had a small hole in the bottom where you could fill it and seal it with tape. I took a piece of thick paper, and made a makeshift funnel to guide my finely sifted Red Rum into the glass. I can’t tell you the feeling of satisfaction I got from creating an original souvenir that few tourists will get to put on their shelves much less conceive. If not for you, they may not have come to pass.

  7. BigD
    June 17, 2018

    If I had to choose between Israel or Jordan for a 3 day trip, what would you recommend?

  8. The Travel Zealot
    June 17, 2018

    Big D, That’s a short time and a tough call, but I’d have to say Jordon since Petra is a New Wonder of the World. Overnight in Amman. Then leave at 3am. to arrive for sunrise at Petra to enter when it opens, and head straight for the Treasury. Do a half day in Petra, and head back to your hotel for a nap. The next day at dawn, do the full trek to the Monestary. It’s quite a hike there so I’d recommend the donkeys once you arrive at the steep bits. Of course, if you decide to go I’ll sort you out on all the details, and we’ll discuss a Jerusalem alternative as well.

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