Nothing to see here….

I have taken a couple days off on this, mostly because I have been plain tuckered out to be honest. I was in Dahab for five days and all I did was wake up at 7 in the morning every day to go diving a couple times a day. The combination of the sun and Nitrogen absorption tends to tire you out on those, so my life was pretty much restricted to diving, eating, and sleeping. But it was nice. Really nice. Dahab is an extremely small “village” which I kind of got a Polk County feeling when I was there. Only they didn’t have that one stoplight, just a bunch of camels and Egyptian round-abouts: rocks in the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a digital camera that I could rent, so no pictures from there. Guess I will just have to go back (shucks!)  That is something I have learned the painful way. Pretty much any sort of luxury goods (i.e. anything that is not essential to life, like Coke, cameras, phones, candy, yada-yada) is cheaper in the US. I really didn’t see that one coming. Although, I am not sure how much of that is that price tags are only in the US as well. Everywhere else has been pretty much look at me, gauge how much I am willing to pay for something, then triple it. (Egypt was multiply by 10 though.) You really have to watch out about getting ripped off. Partly because the money is like monopoly money here too. You never really “know” how much you are spending until you do the math, and then you are like “What the heck???? Are you on crack???”

Anyway, Dahab was a nice breather for me, and I took off two days ago to head to Jordan. That consisted of grabbing the minibus to Newiaba, which was about 1 hour north of Dahab ($8). Then you had to buy the ticket on the ferry to Jordan where they had prices in dollars (instant warning sign, and as I can now read Arabic numbers, I knew the price difference between Egyptians and foreigners which was about 1/2). $70 for what was supposedly the “speed boat” leaving in the next 30 minutes because the ferry was not running with a picture of a cigarette boat under the price, not to mention the $10 leaving Egypt tax (gotta love those!) I wandered around the port until I found the customs station, and got my exit stamp to get into the waiting area (it was 11:00 in the morning, by the way) and headed for the exit gate at which point I was told to sit down and wait. Hmmm…. A couple from Belgium, living in London, had followed me up as apparently I looked like I knew what I was doing (HA!), and we compared notes. This is when we realized we were swindled. The ticket we got only showed a $60 purchase price so apparently the ferry was running. The _____ at the window was charging everyone an extra $10 telling them the ferry wasn’t taking passengers counting on the fact that we wouldn’t find out until we had our exit stamp and couldn’t go back to complain. I am going to have to post that somewhere so others don’t get taken advantage of. (Dangling participle? I never know.) Anyway the ferry actually left for Jordan about 6 hours later so we get into Jordan around 6:00 after only an hour long transit. Let me tell you, the Egyptians really have their stuff squared away (can you hear the sarcasm??) They even joke about their lack of punctuality. Everything is 20 minutes “Egyptian time” which roughly translates into “whenever.” Our entrance into Jordan was greeted by the typical barrage of taxi drives outside the terminal, and we managed to score a taxi to the Aqaba bus station to find out there were no more buses running to Petra that day. Crap! So we succumbed to the will of the multitude of taxi drivers surrounding us (myself and a Korean couple that is linked by a mutual loving of Pringles… Taylor….) and headed off to Petra via taxi for the nice sum of 30 Jordan Dinars (about $40 or $45 total) That means around $15 from me for a 2 hour cab ride. Can’t beat that, other than by bus that is which is 3 JD. So I got settled in and familiarized myself with Wadi Musa, which is the town outside Petra. The next day I woke up early and down the mountain to Petra which is in a valley, and found out the Monastery is on the top of the mountain. Yep, that view in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is only the entrance to Petra right after coming out of the Siq, only about 30 minutes into Petra National Park. I don’t recall reading about the climb up to monastery, but it was a nice hour long hike up…. and up… and up. The view at the top was worth it though, and I spent about 3 hours wandering around the top relaxing and checking out the views from the different vantage points. Great views out across the Jordan desert, but I am not sure how smart it was to climb a mountain in the desert. I made it though, with enough foresight to buy two 1.5L water for the trek. The fun part was the walk back down, and then back up the mountain again to get back to my hotel. I should have taken a taxi, but my distrust of taxis and general dislike of them won out, and I walked it. Can you guess what happened next??? BED!

Me next to a Beoudin Hut

So that is up to today. I am heading back to Petra to explore the lower reaches, as I spent most of my time up high yesterday, but here are some of the pictures I took.

 Livin’ life. Oh and I watched the Bucket List waiting for the Ferry the other day. Great movie, and makes me really value what I am doing now.

 JC

7 Responses to “Nothing to see here….”

  1. Katie says:

    Yay you’re alive!!! Thanks so much for the post 🙂

    I really am glad that you’re still having fun, and that the movie made you appreciate what you’re doing more. I thought it was a funny movie, and it definately made you think about how you need to capture live and capture this world while you still have the chance to. If you don’t explore and live it up now, when will you? Everything always gets put on the back burner, but you’ve put your travels right in front of you and you’re doing the whole carpe diem thing! I’m so proud of you 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I can’t believe how much you keep getting ripped off….i’m sure if it was me over there, i’d be getting charged so much more than you are. You at least have a slight intimidation factor since you’re a big strong male – i’m sure they’d walk all over me, now matter how much I tried to argue haha.

    I still haven’t gotten your package that you said should be arriving soon…although I haven’t checked my mail in a week. But I haven’t gotten a UPS door notice, so unless it can fit in my teensy mail box, I’m pretty sure it hasn’t arrived.

    I still haven’t gotten around to the drawing book either…that’s next on my list. I have to finish a book I borrowed from a girl at work, but then I think I’m gonna try to master the drawing one over the next few months.

    I miss you so much, and I’m so glad you’re having fun. Give me a call whenever you get the chance, I want to ask you some stuff about my job.

    I LOVE YOU!!! XOXOXOXO

  2. Wells says:

    Collins,

    Another great post.

    Wells

  3. sametpsa@aol.com says:

    Thanks Josh,
    I was starting to get worried..I got the map out again and saw where you are..you are really close to Iraq according to my map..I have read that in the Arab culture , you are considered a good business man if you can cheat and steal from people..it is considered a very shrewd business practice to cheat and steal and people who do it are held in high regard…now I am sure it happens in most countries to a certain extent, but I have been reading that it is more prevalent in the Arab culture..I have also read that going into Israel is like going from night to day….the jewish people are such good hearted people , and they have produced so much more and are so much more civilized and educated.. all without ONE DROP OF OIL.. I am counting on your impressions, cause all I have done is read about the places you are visiting…I love you .. take care..I can’t wait to hear more..

  4. sametpsa@aol.com says:

    Oh, I forgot to ask,, what are the women wearing?? Do the women in Egypt have to dress in the Arab garb too? you know the Burka things.. are you seeing any of that??

  5. Charles Yeargan says:

    Great information. WE are planning a trip to Egypt/Petra in Nov. and much of your tips will be used. However, we will have a driver and a car, so maybe I will ask the tour guide to buy the sodas and snacks for the Egyptian price. Reading your journal only makes me want to be there tomorrow. Travel safe.

  6. Mike says:

    Good to have you back finally reporting on the world. We wondered what happened. Good pics.
    I know that you are fibbing now. It is hard to believe that anyone is getting more money out of Josh Collins than what he realy wants to spend. In fact I think that you are really having a great time, Gentiling down the arab prices at every chance and they are going home crying all the way. Keep it up. Just remember that tourists are being taken for a ride all over the world, and not just by taxi drivers. I am sure you are doing well and just complaining loudly.

    BTW it is not a dangling participle but it was just ending a sentence in a preposition which tho’ incorrect it is acceptable by your friends and family. Lawyers might need to do it better tho’ do not worry about it now. We enjoy it too much.

    Any berkas yet?? We want a report on the women.

    Uncle Mike

  7. Mike says:

    I know the only thing Pat had to say about that ia …..WHAT??????

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