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Legendary Cultures
March 12 to April 1 2011
Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise

BHUTAN TO JORDAN VIA INDIA

Today was travel day from hell. We started at 4 a.m. from Bhutan and arrived in Petra, Jordan, nineteen hours later. Our bags got to the room 2.5 hours after that. In addition to having to fly commercial (the plane was late) from Bhutan to Calcutta, we had to go through Indian Immigration and Security. We waited for a half hour before they would even let us approach the Immigration desk. During that time about 20 immigration officers were either sitting around looking bored or were in groups arguing about something. We then went through Security - one line for the whole airport. The line backed up for a city block. We then had to go through Immigration again to get out of India. My guy, when I finally got to him, wanted to read every page of my passport and had a question on each page. It took over two hours to get from our commercial flight through the Indian immigration bureaucracy and onto our private jet. That sounds short but the attitude of the Immigration and Security people made it feel very, very long.

We landed in Ahmedabad in western India to refuel. The pilots got out of the plane to make sure the refueling was being done right. That's a common action by pilots. However, because our pilots got off the plane, the bureaucracy at this airport made our pilots go to airport office and file a new flight plan. That added another hour to what should have been a half hour refueling stop. Instead of being able to drive during daylight from Aqaba to Petra and see the spectacular scenery during sunset, we drove in the dark.

To make things worse, I woke up in the morning with stomach problems. My sense of humor and patience literally went south. The good news it helped clear my sinuses; the bad, I feared for my cerebral fluid.

We saw Petra two years ago on our around the world trip. There was a second option, Wadi Rum, and we decided to do that. Since the group program wasn't going to get back very early we hired our own transportation. Carol wanted to get back early to go shopping and I wasn't feeling tip-top so we reverted to the method that we use when we are not on a group tour - a private guide and car. That way the schedule is our schedule.

Wadi RumWadi Rum is an area where the rock was carved out by the receding of an ocean eons ago and by continual wind and water since then. (Lawrence of Arabia and other films were shot here.) It is reminiscent of the canyon lands of our Mountain States. There are vintage 4-wheel drives that tour the flatlands between the mountains. It is homeland to the Bedouins who nestle up against the hills, out of the blaring sun. We did not see any goats which are their principle flocks but many camels. It was interesting and I am glad we did it but it is a far step down from the main attraction of the area, Petra's ruins, which we did not want to see again so soon.



Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise



HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC