We woke up, packed up and headed outside our hotel where passing taxis were already waiting for our business. He even asked if we wanted to go to the border so we hopped in. For 10 JD we were whisked away to the Wadi Araba border near Aqaba. We strapped on our packs and set out on foot to cross. A Jordanian officer greeted us, checked our passports for our Jordanian stamps and then proceeded through to the next wicket where we were stamped out of the country. It was a relatively easy process except for the fact that there was a row of windows and no signage to indicate which windows we had to stop at, almost like a choose your own adventure and seeing what is hidden behind door number 3. We had heard rumours that there was 10 JD per passport for departure tax but this was not the case so we have an extra 40 JD in our pockets now. We walked another 20 meters and were greeted by the Israeli officers who took a glance at our passports and directed us through. We then entered a building to put our bags and us through security scanning. The line up was a bit long as a tour bus was going through at the same time. After about half an hour our bags were getting scanned. We never had to take the babies off of us as we kept them in the Onya baby carriers the entire time. Tyson’s bag got the red light so we started unpacking looking for something suspicious. He pulled out his Leatherman multi-tool but no issues there. Then came the toiletries with razors, nail clippers and random collection of pills, no problem. Once at the bottom of the pack we pin pointed the culprit, a pack of diapers, haha. Now with that complete we then proceeded to another line up, this time outside, awaiting to get our Israeli stamp. This stamp was actually a separate sticker that you could have the option of putting in your passport or not as if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport it can be hard to get into some other Muslim countries later on. Once we all had our stamps we were on our way now to Israel soil.
This entire process took about an hour and there were no fees involved. There were metered taxis waiting so we jumped in and for 36 New Israeli Shekels we got dropped off at the Hertz car rental place just near the airport.
$1CAD = 2.7NIS $1US = 3.6 NIS
The moment we crossed the border there was a feeling of back home. This country was lush and sustainable and unlike Egypt and Jordan. We knew this part of the trip was going to be our most expensive part with prices and standards being very similar to back home.
After about 45 minutes at Hertz we were installing car seats into our 2017 Honda Civic station wagon. We then grabbed a bite to eat, strapped the girls into the seats and were on our way to Be’Er Sheva. Here we met up with one of Tyson’s old travelling friends from India back in 2008, Lital and her 5-month-old daughter Arbel. The girls weren’t too happy going into those seats after 34 days of just sitting on our laps or in the Onya baby carriers for all modes of transportation so there was plenty of crying but quickly they fell fast asleep and were pleasant for nearly all of the 3 hour drive.
We were greeted with open arms to Lital’s place and made ourselves at home. It was very nice to be able to put the girls down on the floor to crawl around and also to have another baby to play with.
Left to right is Bexley, Lidija, Arbel
Lital, Arbel, Tyson and Bexley
The following day we went up to Shokeda Forest for a walk and to see the red Aneome flowers and eucalyptus trees. We also saw a wall of prickly pear cacti and a sheep herder with his herd.
We took these few days to relax and regroup on just what we wanted to see while in Israel.
To come next is our Jerusalem post where we ventured to, then off to the Dead Sea for a few nights stay in another post. Stay tuned.