Tag Archives: Border Crossing

Israel Crossing Pietro Place

Bad News Returning to Israel

The news was bad.  The rains had washed away the border crossing and so there was no way back to Israel at the southern crossing.  Instead, we had to drive north to the Allenby Bridge crossing and we had to leave our hotel at 3 am.  It was sort of exciting because that particular crossing required a visa from Israel because it originated in the West Bank and there had been some issues at the crossing before.

We stopped along the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side at an awful café where I had a falafel and a coffee and was convinced I would have dysentery within the hour.  I laced my coffee with a Pepto-Bismol to ensure I made it.  I popped into the bathroom but simply could not stay.  It was dreadful and I felt myself longing for the souvenir shops with the toilets the day before.  Jordan was no Israel and I realized we had to get to the border crossing.  It was our only hope!

We organized a VIP status at the crossing and that expedited most things.  Again, it was as if we were in a spy movie – passports were exchanged, we said goodbye to our Jordanian guides, jumped into a neutral vehicle, crossed over, and our Israeli taxi driver was waiting for us.  We drove across the King Hussein Bridge and there was a primitive bunch of roadblocks with nails to stop anybody from hurling themselves into Israel.  The actual drive across the Jordan River seemed to last forever.  We spilled into Jericho and then drove past the settlements, through the West Bank, and into Jerusalem for a late stroll and another plate of hummus.

I was beginning to like hummus with a cappuccino. Am I really saying that? We were back in Israel and the toilets sure looked good to me.

Israel Crossing Pietro Place Israel Crossing Pietro Place

Wadi Araba Border Crossing

The Wadi Araba Border Crossing

It was a bit like one of those spy movies.  You arrive in the car, there’s no one there, the driver waits and has a cigarette, we hang around, and then out of nowhere, a van appears and another guy comes out.  A conversation takes place, passports are exchanged, and we are all walked to the border.  This was the Wadi Araba border crossing.  Our helper guide was an English guy who lived in Eilat.  He clearly did this all of the time, mainly for day trippers from Eilat, but we were going deeper; three nights at Aqaba, Jordan’s Red Sea resort.  The crossing did not take long.  We woke up a few border guards, walked our bags across a dead zone, and men in black and white camouflage fatigues welcomed us on behalf of the Jordanian Army.  Pictures of the Jordanian royal family were everywhere and on the other end a transit van, driver, and guide picked us up and drove us to the Kempinski Hotel.

The Red Sea.  There it was in between the lights of Eilat and the distant lights of the Sinai in Egypt.  We were in Jordan’s 22 kilometers of access to the open sea.  Welcome to Aqaba. 
Wadi Araba Border Crossing