As I’ve been promising, here’s finally an article from Jordan.
Due to the situation in Israel and the surrounding states, we had to decide if we should cancel our plans and stay somewhere in civilization just two days before our planned departure to Petra. But in the end, we decided to risk it and make a two-day trip to Jordan, which was completely different from our regular punk style.
We both hate travel agencies and other organized trips, but in this case we have made an exception, and now, when I think about it, it was one of the best decisions during the whole trip. We chose a company that offered a two-day trip from Eilat to Petra and the Wadi Rum Desert with a night right in the desert. I can’t say that this trip was completely as we would’ve done it if we went just by ourselves, but we saw what we wanted to see and that is important. The agency was called Fun Time and I can only recommend it. Everything was well-organized and the guides were super-friendly.
At the same time, it is important to note that a two-day trip to Jordan is not a cheap thing at all. The Jordanian government and the travel agencies are overcharging it and thus discouraging more visitors to come and see it. But on the other hand, it’s quite possible that in a few years there will be no Petra, so it’s definitely worth seeing it now even for that awful amount of money.
Anyways, the most important thing to say is that a trip with a travel agency is cheaper than organizing it by yourself, using your rental car. You have to pay about $60 when you exit Israel, then you have to pay another $50 for Jordanian visas. Both can be bought at the border. You have to pay these two amounts no matter if you you are traveling or on your own or with an agency. But the problem is in something else. You can’t cross the border by car. It’s just for pedestrians, so even if you arrive in a rental car, you have to leave it in Israel, cross the border by foot and get a overpiced taxi on the other side of the border, that will take you to Petra or anywhere else. And that is not a small amount of money since you have to pay it twice. Also, I think that we didn’t have to pay one more fee because we were traveling as a group, but I don’t remember how much that was. However, the feeling that you are absolutely safe with local guides who speak English is priceless.
So. The company picked us up in our hotel in Eilat and drove us to Petra first, where we spent the afternoon. If it was for me, I would spend more time in Petra because we had only about 3 hours of time there. We didn’t manage to see everything because Petra is so huge that it was not even possible in those three hours. As some people think, Petra is not just about “The Treasury” – it’s a whole city with hundreds of canyons, cool rocks, sculptures and other sights.
In the afternoon, we drove to the desert called Wadi Rum, where we had dinner and slept in a Bedouin camp. The next morning, just after breakfast, we got on two jeeps and set out for a two-hour jeep safari during which we even saw some wild camels.
Then we went back to Eilat, from where we caught a bus back to Tel Aviv that evening and then flew home the next day.
And the overall impression about this trip? It’s one of the “once in a lifetime” destinations. I mean, it was unforgettable, but I wouldn’t go there again. Especially because it was wayyyyyyy too hot for me, hahaha:)
And what about you guys? Do you have any interesting stories from Israel/Jordan? Or would you ever want to visit these places?