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- Stayed: August 2018
- Accommodation: Arab Divers Dive Center and Bed &Breakfast. As the name suggests this is primarily a dive centre but the reviews were good on Booking.com and I got a great price. Though there is not much in the area itself and you are a drive away from the city centre, the hotel is great. Lovely room with AC, a fridge and TV, two pools and free breakfast. A very peaceful atmosphere with super helpful staff. There is a restaurant here but they only do evening meals if there are group bookings or enough people want to eat. My chicken tandoori was delicious. If lunch is needed, you can head to the Red Sea Dive Center Hotel directly opposite. Overall, recommended.
Just a short post for Aqaba as I only stayed two nights. Getting here from Wadi Musa was an experience. I took the public bus. I turned up to catch the bus at 8 am but was told the bus wouldn’t leave until the driver was happy he had enough people to make the journey worth it. Myself and another guy sat waiting on the bus for an hour before the driver got restless and wanted to go. He asked me how much I was willing to pay if we left immediately. I asked him how much it was. He said it was up to me. I said it was a public bus so I wanted to pay the price everyone usually pays. He said it was 7JD because I had a bag with me but he would have to wait for more passengers. If I was willing to pay 10JD he would leave immediately. You can’t make this stuff up! I agreed as I didn’t feel I had much choice. We set off. He stopped off at a hostel and picked up three backpackers – they were unwilling to pay 10JD so negotiated him back down to 7JD and we all paid 7JD. Happy days for us; he, on the other hand, was in a grouchy mood, declaring our money would only cover fuel with no money for him. He picked up various other people along the way, chain smoked throughout the journey, and seemed to be in a much better mood by the time we arrived at Aqaba bus station. The drive from Wadi Musa to Aqaba is usually 1 hour 30 mins; from me getting on the bus to arriving in Aqaba it was three hours so if you decide to take the public bus option, don’t be in a hurry.
It was easy to get a taxi from Aqaba bus station to my hotel but not cheap. The ten minute taxi ride cost me 10JD. Mohammed, my taxi driver gave me his card and offered me the discount price of 15JD to take me to the border to cross over into Israel when I depart Aqaba. Apparently it usually costs 21JD for this 25 minute journey so I will be going with him.
My hotel was based in South Beach, a short drive away from Aqaba city centre. I can’t comment on the city itself because I literally parked myself by the hotel pools for two days topping up my tan. When you are travelling long-term like I am, sometimes you just need a few days just to do nothing and relax. From what I hear about the city though, I don’t feel as though I missed much. Arab Divers seems to be a decent dive centre if that’s what you are looking for, offering beginner dives to dives for the more experienced. There are many companies in the area offering diving and snorkelling trips but obviously at a high cost – this is Jordan after all. At my hotel the snorkelling day trip costs 50JD and I just wasn’t prepared to pay that after paying £25 for a fab all-inclusive snorkelling trip with lunch and alcohol in Turkey. I was content with free pool days and I am now a bronzed and very relaxed goddess as I type (well, certainly bronzed and relaxed ha ha).
Selection of pictures from my stay: