Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jordan:The Blog -- Day Ten

Were it not for the fact that I’m in pain and it’s about 110 degrees here in Aqaba, this would be another perfect day. Even so, it’s pretty damn good.

As with most injuries, it isn’t until the next day you feel it the most, and so it was with my fall from the horse. As I woke, each breath and each movement caused excruciating pain. As luck would have it, my German traveling companion is a nurse, and after confirming that I had a bruised, and maybe cracked, rib or two, she brought out the drugs. I thought I carried a fairly sophisticated first aid kit for third world travel, but it was nothing compared to hers. A few pills later and I was, if not as good as new, at least comfortable. So after a quick shower and breakfast, the four of us set off for the protected area of Wadi Rum.

Like the sights of the previous day, the protected area is vast but not as empty. After climbing aboard our open-air landcruiser, we passed through gates to the park and through a small Bedouin village full of children and camels and goats. Then it was through the desert again, this time with red sand all around, and mountains on both sides. We made a few stops to take it all in, climb into caverns and the like. Not a major event, but a good way to start the day.

From there it was on to Aqaba, which on a cooler day might actually be paradise. OK, not the town of Aqaba, which Ellery and I wandered through tonight, but the hotel we’re at, the Aqaba Intercontinental. And boy, did we need it … a pool that’s more like a river through the hotel, huge palm trees shading everything, and a beach with water so clear that it seems like you can see through it forever – even more amazing given the fact that this is a working port, with huge freighters docked just off-shore.

After the pharmacy delivered more of the wonder drugs (I had written down the name of the pills and drugs here are cheap, no prescription needed), Ellery and I sat at the pool and swam for most of the day, returning to our poolside room to nap, shower, change into clean clothes and eventually enjoy a nice walk into town for dinner.