Aug 31, 2009
Feb 14, 2010
To share with you our experience in Jordan I will recount our efforts to get the gas bottle filled. This is one of the more difficult tasks on our trip as the shops that fill gas bottles are not always obvious. Anyway driving through a small village we noticed a shop with gas bottles stacked outside, Darren hit the skids and heads on into the shop carrying our South African gas bottle. Shop keeper zero English, Darren zero Arabic so we are off to a flying start. Eventually Darren managed to impart our desire and the shop keeper indicated he could not do it in his shop but there was another shop on the other side of town
. As he was unable to give us directions he motions to us to follow him in his car and proceeds to lead us across town to the shop. He stops his car in the middle of a road jumps out and points at the shop. We cannot thank him enough, he smiles and drives off. We enter the second shop and yes they can fill gas but not our gas bottle because the fitting is not compatible. Long story short Darren and a group of Arabs that had gathered by this time cook up a plan to cut the hose off our stove and fit one of their connectors and us our hose to fill the cylinder. All good they start on the plan. One other man who speaks a few words of English literally drags Darren around the corner to choose a couple of sodas for us as a gift while we wait. They sit us down with the sodas and apologise profusely at the time it is taking and how grateful they are to Allah that we have visited their shop. We were welcomed by everyone passing as we drank our sodas and waited for our gas bottle to be filled. The irony of this is the gift of sodas for us was worth about 1 JD and our gas cost 4 JD. Clearly expressing their hospitality was more important than the sale. We then drove a little way up the street and pulled into an Arabic sweet/bakery shop. Darren stayed in the car and I went to get something for morning tea. Everything looked wonderful (finger food sized baklava and small biscuits) but I was a little hesitant as I did not know how to buy the stuff. The shop keeper begins to welcome me profusely and starts handing samples over for me to try. He then invites me behind the counter so I can try for myself whilst still stuffing more into my hands. I try to explain I want a mixture of stuff for two persons. He then tries to get me to go and get my friend from across the road so he can try also. Welcome Welcome is every second word. I manage to get a selection which he weighs and tells me it is 1 JD about 1.70 AUD. He then starts filling the plate with more stuff, no cost gift for you and your friend. The end result was a large plate of yummy stuff, I had lots of trouble trying to stop him from putting more on, a bit like pick your own strawberries, I had eaten way more than I had bought. In summary these people are very generous and hospitable and cannot do enough for us.
Had a leisurely drive towards Karnak, visiting the remnants of the Crusade Castles along the way. We stopped short of Karnak and headed into a place called Afra Springs, and the water was so hot I broke out into a sweat whilst standing in the pool. The gate keeper let us camp in a flat area near the springs thus allowing us to have an early morning dip before heading to Karnak Castle.