Africa is done, finito, completo, doneo, arriva derci, see ya wouldn’t want to be ya, chow baby, later gator, and on and on and on. One year five months in the big and scary Africa (yes big, not really all that scary.)
Okay, celebration over. Onwards we go to stage four, the Middle East.
The plan is, well since I am here already, I took the Ferry from Nuweiba port, Egypt, to Aqaba, Jordan. It was one expensive ferry. $79US for a one hour ride, crazy. The boat was nice, more cruise ship than Ferry, and the price also included getting a free Visa ($20US value) as Aqaba is a free trade zone so entering there gets you a free pass.
I ran into a couple from Peru who were doing a tour through the Middle East so I got to practice up on the rusty Spanish a bit and also to trade notes about traveling in South America. I do miss it so. They were professional photographers and were looking to do some advertising for the Middle East in Lima, Peru where they live as there is not much information for the few Peruvians that travel. We also ran into a group of four Australian girls doing an around the world trip. They ended up having the same itinerary of wanting to get to Petra that same day, so they arranged a mini-bus from the port to take them straight there. I ended up hitching a ride to the city center with them as they had to change money. My priorities were a bit different. The closest thing that I have had to a shower was when I bought a six litre bottle of water and used that to do a very pretentious shower the night before I was leaving Dahab. My clothes had actually gone unwashed since I was in Cairo. Sounds scary, and it was, but not to the extent that it seems as I really did spend a lot of time in the ocean in Dahab (salt water showers as well), and a good chunk of the day in Nuweiba. That and the fact that I really didn’t wear a lot of clothes most of the time kept what I had fairly unstinky. So, the plan for me was to drop anchor in Aqaba where there was clean water in which I could take a shower or two, wash all my clothes, and use the cheap internet as I really wasn’t able to in Nuweiba.
And that is where I am now. In Aqaba, freshly washed in clean water, with clothes which are freshly washed in clean water, typing on the internet. Tomorrow I should be heading off to Wadi Rum for some Lawrence of Arabia action (that was where some of the movie was filmed.)
Oh yea, the plan, I will head and hit the highlights of Jordan, and then I will definately not go to Israel, I repeat I will not be going to Israel via the King Hussein/Allenby bridge and not getting my Jordanian exit stamp and I will not get a Israeli passport stamp on a seperate piece of paper and I will definitely not travel around Israel hooking up with past travelers who invited me to meet them, and I will not leave via the same bridge getting a exit stamp on a piece of paper which will not accidentaly fall over the side of the bridge once I don’t have my entry stamp as I go back into Jordan and since I am definitely not going to Israel then I should be able to make it into Syria and Lebanon and possibly Iran. Did I make myself clear that I will not be going to Israel. Okay. That’s the plan.
Not much else to report except that Africa didn’t kill me, I survived. Okay, it almost killed me, twice, maybe three times, but still I made it. Good times, well except for that lady in Ethiopia that threw out my water (after extensive internet research, I still don’t know why she would do that,) and that Rat Bastard Immigration chief who tried to make me stay another week in Sudan (Kiss my ass).
Fast fact before I leave Egypt. Did you know that you can buy a Twinkie, HoHo, or a thing called a Tigers Tale which is a modified Twinkie where they make lines with Rasberry syrup, for the price of 2 for one Egyptian pound. In American money that is like nine cents each. Incredible. That discovery I rank up there with finding King Tut. Nine cents, for a twinkie. Nice.
Fast fact before I leave Africa. My main two reasons for visiting Africa were to 1) hear a lion roar out in the bush at night (accomplished a few times but most significantly in Zimbabwe when there were lions and hyenas howling and roaring. 2) Was to see and float down the mighty Congo. I did the Congo kinda and one of its sister rivers a lot. The third and unknownst to most and quite possibly politically incorrect is the fact that I wanted to go so that when I returned back to the states I can tell my “African-American” friends that they can’t use the race card against me because I am more African than them. I am now 1/39.5 African (if you go by time served.) It’s good to be African/Japanese/African with a little bit of Latin America as well.
Fast fact while I am in Jordan, they got MCDONALDS. Thats right MCDONALDS. Hell, there is 7/11 (which I don’t even know if they still exist in the states, a Burger King, Cinna Buns (sp) the big ass cinnamon buns they sell in shopping malls, a Days Inn hotel, crap, it was just like being in the states. The McDonalds thing was a shocker as I just wasn’t expecting it and then bam looked up and there was the big M just floating in the sky. Me and Jordan are going to get along just fine.
*Named Steven Nakano, middle name Kazuo, born in Fresno, started trip in May 2005, using a blue and black backpack, wearing black boots, survives on McDonalds… just to clarify the greatest ever.
Tags: Africa, Jordan, mcdonalds, Middle East, Travel