13.10.2008 - 14.10.2008 33 °C
massive petrol guzzling GMC rod hogs slide up and down the coastal road which leads to the Saudi border. Crossing the road is a necessity to get from our budget hotel to the public beach where fully clad Muslim women wade into the water next to ogled bikini clad foreigners. I observed in amusement today as the traffic slowed and stopped twice to let some scantily clad women cross the road to the hotel.
The difficulty of swimming in a robed outfit makes me ponder how many of the local women from Aqaba have ever actually had the chance to see the reefs - alas it's just one of the many restrictions placed on them in this culture.
Our hotel (the Bedouin Village) is costing us 50 dinar (about 50 euro)/night for two double rooms with bathrooms - which is bout 1/4 of the midrange hotel up the road. I dont begrudge the price as it has allowed us to enjoy the finest snorkeling I have ever undertaken - yes, I dare say its better than the Great Barrier Reef, and a hell of alot easier to access.
Jordan is more relaxed and advanced than Syria but littering is a common habit that turns the beaches, streets and carparks into rubbish tips. Although there is a rubbish collection team working the beaches the shear volume of rubbish sometimes left behind and the strong winds invariably mean that there are regular plastic jellyfish and other trash floating round the reefs. I remember being similarly dismayed 20years go when I first saw the same attitude in Tunisia.
Off into the desert tomorrow!