When we realised we could fit in a side trip to Jordan to see the ancient rock city of Petra, we were really excited. We decided to do it independently – we later learned that this probably didn’t actually save us any money as you can do it as a trip from Dahab, but it was an adventure! Our first journey was an overnight bus trip from Luxor to Dahab, passing over the Suez Canal. The bus trip took about 16 hours to get to Dahab, where we changed and took another bus to Nuweiba. At Nuweiba, we bought ferry tickets and joined the crowds waiting for a ferry to Aqaba, Jordan. Everyone was pretty vague about when we would leave – we finally left around 4pm. There were three westerners on the trip – we joined up with Arjan from the Netherlands and we shared experiences such as boarding before everyone else (awkward walking past a line of people), having our luggage stored separately (as Arjan put it, they were either making it easy for us or making it easier to know which bags to steal from) and being escorted through immigration in Jordan.
We shared a taxi with Arjan from Aqaba to Petra – we were happy to share costs and even happier when Arjan loaned us some money when we realised none of the banks in Aqaba liked our Eftpos card, and our credit card had been blocked by our bank for having been used in Egypt (but the bank hadn’t let us know – helpful!) We made it to the town of Wadi Musa where Petra is located and had a good sleep before waking up to enjoy Petra (where we finally found the one bank in Jordan that would accept our Eftpos card!).
After going to Petra (another post!) we decided to return to Aqaba two days later by bus, as it was a lot cheaper, but the mini buses only run in the morning. At 11am we went to catch a mini bus and waited…and waited…the driver asked us if we wanted to pay double to leave earlier, but we weren’t keen on that and waited some more until finally enough people came and the driver decided to leave. We arrived in Aqaba with all of our things and spent a lovely afternoon eating local food, swimming and paddling on the beach and using the free wifi at McDonalds (never pass up free internet!).
Around 9pm we caught a taxi to the ferry port (about 15km out of Aqaba) only to find out when we arrived that they don’t sell tickets…so we had to take a taxi back to Aqaba and buy tickets before coming back again – frustrating! The ferry was supposed to leave at 11pm…so we waited…and waited…and waited…at 3am we boarded and at 4am we left! The trip only takes a few hours, but because we left so late we missed the 6.30am bus from Nuweiba to Dahab and had to share a taxi there. We arrived at our hostel absolutely exhausted and ready for rest and relaxation in Dahab!