Packed and Ready!
Our Osprey backpacks packed with only the essentials, no suitcases, we're traveling light. But of course, this is where the morning stopped going smooth and it got a bit rough. Why would it not? Forgot my Apple watch at home and our flight leaving for SFO was delayed by 2 hours. With a 10-hour layover in San Francisco we headed to Costco. I wanted my steps on this trip to count, got a temporary Apple watch [which we returned after we got back at end of trip]. Then walking around until we needed to be back at airport.
London airport. 5-hour layover. Regretting my choice of shoes for this long of a trip, which was also not a plan to walk in them as much as we did in San Francisco. Angry little footsies.
Finally! We arrived in Tel Aviv. I'm in Israel! Immigration was a breeze. The expectation of Rehan being detained for many hours, and his lubricant ready in his pocket, we were barely questioned. I guess this time he had the token white chick, so his normal greeting was cut short. This seemed way too easy of a start.
Luggage. Waiting. Still waiting. Our backpacks are nowhere to be seen. Shit! Almost everything we had was in those packs. Tail between our legs, frustrated with how "important" it was to baggage claim staff, the lack of caring was amazing. We headed to our AirBnB. It was nice, overlooked the sea and city, but being unable to freshen up after traveling was uncomfortable.
Still no luggage and still in the same clothes, we were making the best of the situation. Rented bikes to ride to Jaffa to see the old port and most of all, hummus! Not just any hummus, the most amazing hummus I have ever tried. Abu Hassan!
Let's just say, still no luggage and this is our last day in Tel Aviv. Checking status of our claim online, trying to stay positive, but I was having a hard time with it. With a fresh change of underwear, but same clothes being worn now for 4 days, we drove to Caesarea and Haifa.
Jerusalem! Such a beautiful, history filled, and one of the oldest cities in the world. Sadly though, still no luggage... ugh. Starting to give up hope and feeling like it was time to wash clothe(s). Walking through the narrow streets, brick walls, cobble stone, and surrounded by three of the major religions of the world; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Took the wrong road out of Jerusalem and here we were accidentally driving through West Bank on our way to the Dead Sea. Ha! We can check that off our bucket list.
Night float in the Dead Sea. It was weird. I had this feeling of peace. The one body of water that I felt totally at ease. No living creatures, no rocks, nothing could nibble on my toes. It was my equivalent of a clean room. Just a nice float in a thick baby oil like sea. My skin felt so soft...and oily.
Crossed the border from Israel to Jordan on foot. Border control took a little more time for Rehan, but we were granted permission to enter. Quick lunch, rented car, then off to Wadi Rum to sleep in a yurt and camp in the sand.
I must say. Out of all the places I have been in the world, Wadi Rum might be one of the most picturesque, eye pleasing, beautiful locations. We arrived at night, but looking up at the stars... no light solution and a large galaxy above us. Breathtaking.
Walk across the dessert, jeep ride, and sunset camel ride. One full day of seclusion, serenity, at peace. No words can describe this place.
Off to Petra. Long awaited, my final modern wonder of the world. Excitement is brewing! Of course, after we pickup a hitchhiker who was also leaving Wadi Rum and heading our direction. Probably not always the safest idea to pickup random strangers, but... he looked fairly safe. We made a friend :)
OMG! We finally arrived. Dropped off our newly founded companion, checked into the hotel, and wasted no time walking over to the park. Petra! Not exactly how I envisioned it in my head, but still a gasping view to unfold. Once you're able to ignore all the Captain Jacks running around trying to sell you something, its quite a remarkable view.
I woke up early to a text from a coworker asking "how are you doing". Odd. Not somebody that normally asks that. Then as I'm fumbling through Facebook around 2am I see another coworker posted, "had a talk with the Bob's". Now I'm curious so I checked my work email. I've been laid off. The whole office is being closed and we've been given our papers. I swing over and hit Rehan, I'm crying, and hand him my phone. Shit! What am I going to do.
Walking around Petra. Dark cloud overhead, metaphorically, not much talking... just hiking, walking, wondering the trails and seeing the various archaeological sites. Rehan trying to have words of wisdom to help me feel better, occasionally saying something that is "too soon", but extremely comforting and appreciative that he acknowledged how I must be feeling. I thank him for this.
12/7: Attended a call for the office closure before leaving for the airport, on our way to Egypt. Just to listen to what was going on since nobody would talk to me until I signed and acknowledged the details of my exit date. Small issue... I was in a dessert, no printer, no fax, and had to return the signed form by end of day today. Challenge accepted. [was able to print and return a picture of it from the hotel in Egypt, by end of day]
Drove up to Amman to drop off the car and head to the airport. Only to finally have the pleasure of seeing the inside of an interrogation room. Rehan seemed relaxed. He's been through this song and dance before. We were released after a bit of questioning and we proceeded on our journey.
And just in case you weren't sure, still no luggage. Day 11 without our bags. The shit show was piling up, but we weren't going to let it get to the better of us. We've arrived in Egypt. The view from our hotel room was amazing, The Great Pyramid of Giza. Standing right before us.
The last standing Ancient Wonder of the World, checklist completed. Besides how rude and aggressive the locals were with the sight of my fare skin and red hair and wanting to take my photo, once I covered up with a scarf it allowed me to look around. Absorb the grandness of being amongst the enormity of the pyramids. How the fk did they manage to build them.
Arrived at the hotel and just happened to look across the lobby and squealed in excitement!
Last day of our trip and our bags FINALLY arrived! 10 days, purchasing necessities along the way, making do with what we had. I will put on and wear all my clothes on this final day!