Saturday, December 31, 2022

Middle of Nowhere Jordan to Amman, Jordan, December 31, 2022

Our drivers made their own supper in the bus-


They are two very confident old men.  They do what they like when they like.  Thank goodness I won’t be with them long.  They are untrainable!  

Breakfast went well and we were on the road by 8 am.  

Along the way-



Our drivers stopped at a place to unload some diesel.  It seems they bought diesel for cheap in Saudi to sell it in Jordan.  Muhammad wasn’t happy I took his picture and then claimed not to know where the Dead Sea was-


He took us there anyway.  It’s 1412 feet BELOW sea level-


and you really really float because it’s so salty-



I di$nt go in this year but did in October of 2015-


It was a garbage dump where we parked-


There were horse and camel rides-


and we dried and cleaned our tents-


The manager at the hotel said the post office was open until 6 pm but when I got there, they were closed for inventory of all things.  I’m hoping to send my tent, sleeping bag, air mattress and liner home.  Now I’ll have to try at the border or in Israel.

We found a liquor store after 4 weeks! and celebrated the New Year in our room: Me, Karen, Mark, Kelly and Cynthia-


May 2023 be a healthy and happy year!











Friday, December 30, 2022

Jubbah, Saudi Arabia to Jordan Bush Camp,  December 30, 2022

Our “new” bus arrived at 3:30 this morning and we were slow getting our gear transferred and going.  We crossed into Jordan late and it took .  Our new bus is a Mercedes and it has a heater so we were nice and warm all day.  However, it’s not very clean and I’ve got a backache.  

Where we are going-

Along the way - such randomness- crazy roundabout monuments-



Fancy boulevards-



A playground in the middle of nowhere-


and of course the city sign-


Along the way-



There were swathers and balers in one town but I haven’t seen anything remotely close to farmland.  

We stopped for lunch and I got rotisserie chicken to go.  They even gave me a tablecloth!  They put clear plastic in front of you on the table or on the platform before you eat-


Tonight is the LAST bush camp!!!!  I’m on cook group and we ate at 9 pm.  Luckily Karen is our kitchen guru and so it went smoothly but I didn’t get to my tent until 10:15.  We are off to Amman, Jordan tomorrow!


AlUla to Jubbah, Saudi Arabia, December 29, 2022

It was a long drive day, 544 km from AlUla to Jubbah-



Along the way: a military base that had a couple rocket launchers-


Sand-



and more-



There were herds of sheep, goats and camels scrounging in the sand-



We came across two accidents.  In the first one, a truck demolished a small car.  Someone, still alive we think, was being put in the ambulance as we drove by.  The second was a semi-



It was freezing in the bus, apparently there is only air conditioning up top, no heat.  We were wrapped in blankets and wearing all our gear, toques included-



The sand turned red and the road was hilly and winding-




We looked for a gas station for lunch but only drove by deserted and rubby ones-





More sandy scenery-




 



And then-



Our nice pavement disappeared-



and we were on very rough road-




Half the time we drove beside the road because it was smoother-


We were able to travel about 15 km/hour!  Luckily we didn’t have far to go and pavement was ahead-


We got to Jubbah to see rock art.  Human settlement of the area represented by the stone tools dates back to the Middle Palaeolithic Age (50,000 - 40,000 B.C.).  The site also has carvings from the Neolithic Period (10,000 to 4000 B.C.) and ancient Arabian Thamudic inscriptions from the first millennium B.C.  I have no idea which are which!  The rocks look like this-



and the carvings are usually on the black parts-














We are camping near the rock paintings and had time to do a “truck clean” .  Everything had to be scrubbed.  I hate truck cleans but it went well and most helped.  You always have some slackers; people who can’t look around and see what needs to be done or who are too stunned and lazy to ask-



Our drivers are leaving with the bus tomorrow morning.  Apparently a different bus, hopefully one with heat, and two drivers, one from Syria and an Egyptian are taking over.  We will never get them trained in 2 days!  We will cross into Jordan tomorrow, hopefully quickly and without issues and make our way towards the Dead Sea.


P.S.


One last shot of our coach-



Speed limit signs in Arabic starting at the far right and moving clockwise: 70, 60, 30, 50, 90 and 80 km/h-





































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