On a cold and grey morning I woke up early to pile onto a bright green decaled minivan headed for the Jordanian border.
Unfortunately Maggie couldn’t join us because of some details with her work visa. I tried my hardest not to cry (who am I?) and hugged her tight, thankful I had made a few new friends to keep me company along this next part of my journey. It was sheer luck that four of the friends I had made on my Masada hike were also signed up for the same Petra tour.
Since this tour included crossing into a new country, a few typical questions arose: do I need a visa, do I need a visa in advance, how much will it cost, do I need cash and in what currency. In this case, there was also the question of whether we wanted stamps in our passport or on an official form (to hide the evidence of having traveled through Israel).
The quick answers for our group were that yes we needed a visa and we were going to Sheikh Hussein Crossing because this border crossing allows Americans (and most other nationalities) to purchase a visa on arrival. We needed approximately $100 (in the form of 107 shekels and 50 Jordanian dinars) for the entire process going into and coming back out of Jordan.
Exiting Israel I received a stamp on their official paper rather than in my passport but this had more to do with me seeing the stamp as a great souvenir for my travel journal and less to do with my concerns about gaining entrance to other middle eastern nations, which is why upon entering Jordan I skipped the tedious form and let them directly stamp my passport, thus creating a paper trail in my passport and evidence that I had used an Israeli land border. I’m not going to get to much further into the details of crossing the border because another blogger, Shannon of The Traveling Scholar, who has made the same journey, has written the perfect post going over all the details. If you are concerned with crossing the Israeli border to Jordan, go check out this post.
After exiting Israel, we said goodbye to our Israeli driver and walked with our Jordanian guide through the remainder of the border crossing. After this we hopped into an old blue and white van, and had a long and bumpy ride through the countryside to Jerash. We briefly stopped for a lunch before our guide led us through the Roman ruins that were once hidden underneath the sand and soil for hundreds of years.
Even the cat was confused about this one…
It took longer than expected to cross the Jordanian border, so we were behind schedule and decided to skip our stop through Amman and head straight to our Bedouin camp for dinner. If you haven’t heard of Bedouin hospitality before, all I’m going to say for now is that it should be on every traveler’s bucket list. I had added it to my 25 for 25 in anticipation of my trip, so I was very excited for the experience despite the cold temperatures. Check back tomorrow to read all about it!
Putting It Together
- To make the most of my time in Jordan I booked a tour that included Jerash, Amman, Bedouin camping and Petra – this site details all the possibilities for traveling from Israel to Petra
- Prepare for a long ride whether that means bringing snacks, taking Dramamine, reading a book or listening to the serial podcast
- Don’t bet on an ATM, but there is a currency exchange counter – the easiest way to get through a border is with cash on hand
- Decide whether you want stamps in your passport or on a sheet of official paper
- Bring toilet paper – this was not readily available in bathrooms like it was in Israel
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