Thursday, July 15, 2010

Going to the Beach, Jordan style

Aqaba is about 4 hours away from Amman… a lovely drive actually, through the desert and amazing views of the edge of Wadi Rum rock formations. We had company come to visit us, and she wanted to go snorkeling. I made reservations at the Tala Bay Moevenpick hotel, and off we went.

We hired a driver and van to take us down south (more details later) and after a bit of trouble with our reservations… not too serious, and the lady at the desk worked hard to get things straightened out… we got into our rooms, which were very nice. Modern, clean, spacious. Very comfortable. Everything in the resort was easy to find and within easy reach.

It was HOT for the weekend we were there! Not just desert hot, but heat wave in the desert hot. There was also blowing dust and sand for most of the weekend. High winds were almost enough to cancel our snorkeling trip, but not quite.

The beach, to be honest, needs sand… wear water shoes or your feet will hurt! There are rocks in the water, but it was cool and refreshing.


There was enough sand to play in, and not at all scalding hot. The kids spent a good hour or so digging and playing by the water.



Near the shore, the water was churned up because of the wind and waves, but I saw an occasional small fish, and Honor found (and placed in the water) a rock with a plant-type thing growing on it. I bet it would be nice and clear for beach-side snorkeling in calm weather.



It was very windy!



The resort was wonderful too. On the small side, but it had everything and the staff was friendly.



There were multiple pools, all lovely, some better for kids, some more suitable for adults. We never felt crowded.


Running around the pool area was a ‘river’ loop. The water was a great depth for swimming laps – chest deep for adults, but fun for kids who swim well too.




There was also a dive center located at the resort and we went out on a boat to explore a nearby reef. The wind was blowing hard, the sea was very choppy, the boat ride was bumpy… but the kids had a blast getting out there. They’d NEVER worn swim fins, mask, or snorkel before. Even the life vest was a new experience… and we take them out in a cold, salty, bumpy sea, and dump them in with Nemo. They did great!





They tried with all the gear, but didn’t have the practice to make it work well. The fins went back in the boat, as did Honor’s snorkel. Honor also had to open her vest, as it was too big and tried to eat her up when zipped. It worked well as a float. Both kids are strong swimmers and we had one kid per parent. 


Honor decided to sit out exploring the sunken ship… she’d had enough sea water to drink after swimming around the reef!




The weather was tough.. hot, windy, hazy.


It was relaxing and nice anyway.


Wish I could share more of how brilliant blue the waters were… even with the wind and waves. View from the dock… but it was like this out deep too.



After this, we headed back to Amman, stopping at Petra on the way. Photos from that excursion later!


Emily said...

It looks like you guys were able to have a great adventure, even with the wind and heat.

I'll Take Mine... said...

That looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing the photos. Beautiful!

Christine said...

How cool. Looking forward to you guys coming out. Safe travels.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful, happy images that capture love and joy with memories to last a lifetime.

Bfiles said...

love these photos and story, thanks for sharing! looks totally beautiful!

Connie said...

Aqaba was a lovely experience! We'll have to try it again sometime, possibly during a slightly cooler time of the year! Although at the moment, we are traveling through the NW US and have been freezing in 50-60F temps... still, we're having a blast, and buying sweatshirts ;D

Little P said...

Yay! I looooove Aqaba! Of course, I was only ever there in December (good weather, but a bit cool), but it was sooo cool! I love the fort down there actually- it was used during the Arab Revolt.
(the Intercontinental is great too! And we brought back fish to eat in Amman)

Connie said...

Tala Bay was a bit far from the fort, we didn't go this trip. Maybe next time!