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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Egypt, Nuweiba

 

Map picture

Like Moses I leave Mt. Sinai with a commandment, to go forth and explore Jordan.

My tour is scheduled to return to Dahab but if I can make arrangements I could be on my way to Jordan via a ferry from Nuweiba.

"Tourist Taxi" fares are ridiculous, LE$ 300 for a trip that should be LE$60-100.

I consult with our tour driver and he offers to drop me off at a checkpoint 70km from the ferry port. There he thinks I can safely hitch a ride to Nuweiba. I sure hope his plan works.

 

DSC00368The desert landscape does not look "walker" friendly.

 

On a road with few cars, our driver soon flags down a car going in our direction. Words are exchanged and I exit the front seat of the tour bus bidding farewell to my fellow passengers.

 

DSC00646I am now in the backseat of a car for LE$80 on my way to Nuweiba .

 

 

 

 

DSC00647

At a military checkpoint, a soldier approaches the rear door.

 

 

 

 

I think Oh..oh and reach for my passport. The door opens, the solider hops in and smiles. He's a hitchhiker,  sort of just like me.

 

DSC00648 Nuweiba Port

 

 

 

Dropped off outside the port terminal, I walk across the street to purchase my ticket with a bit of confusion to Aqaba US$80. I am early at the departure terminal which is filled mostly with locals.

As immigration officers arrive there is a lot of chatter and jockeying for line position by locals. Apparently, this displeases officials who barks orders that are quickly complied with.

Tourists are not treated the same but are quickly processed by smiling faces. Clearing immigration, I enter a large terminal with passengers and cats spread all around.

DSC00649  ... some even enjoying lunch on the floor. I take a random seat near other tourists but we are soon told to "Sit over there".

 

 

The terminal is uncomfortable with dirty floors, hard benches.

Today, the fast ferry is very slow and late. We sit uninformed of the ferry status while flies take pleasure in annoying us.

Wish I had a fly swatter.  Whack, whack!
Boarding does not start for the 2:00PM ferry until close to 5:00PM but again tourist are given preferential treatment.

 

DSC00650 Passports are surrendered for visas as we set sail on The Gulf of Aqaba.

 

 

 

 

DSC00652 Most of the way to Aqaba we can see the coast of Saudi Arabia, I think it is less than 15 miles away.

 

 

I exchange my Egyptian pounds for Jordan dinars en route and then enjoy a ferry "snack-box".


Shocran (Thanks),  Egypt.  Masa lama, Good-bye!

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