Tuesday, January 28, 2014

25th January – Aqaba the southern port city and a winter swim in the Red Sea

Its hard to believe that one night you could be freezing in the desert and a couple of hours later snorkelling with coral and tropical fish. Given that it is winter time now we didn’t expect to be doing as much swimming as we have. Gary, Geoff and I take the opportunity to do some snorkelling in the Red Sea when we arrive in Aqaba. Gary initially thought about staying with the girls and helping them with their shopping. He was quickly encouraged to do otherwise. Geoff suggests we update the waiting time predictor formula to introduce a reduction if the males actually go in the shop with the girls while they are shopping.

Anyway the snorkelling was fine … up there with some of our better snorkelling experiences, with interesting coral formations and a multitude of fish species. Aqaba is strategically placed between Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia with only a few kilometres separating them. The joke is that you need to take your passport with you when you go for a swim, just in case you get lost and end up in the wrong country!

The girls follow the lonely planet advice and find the bead shop …. more tax free ‘savings’…..can’t believe how much we’ve saved this trip! Aqaba has a real ‘Gold Coast” feel to it. The coast line of probably only a few kilometres is all the beachfront that Jordan has. The water is 22-25 deg C all year round, so its popular as a winter break for northern Europeans as well as the Jordanians themselves. We walk along the beachfront to the fort that Lawrence of Arabia stormed from the Desert. It was closed for renovations.  We are pleased to see that the warmer temperatures brought out the gelato vendors … can’t believe its winter here … so barmy.
Red Sea Diving

Stormed by Lawrence of Arabia

Sunset at Aqaba

Side Bar  Shopping wait time predictor update

Wt = S*(N*T1/F)*ST - M

Where Wt = Predicted Wait Time
N = number of women in group
T = mean time for a single one woman visit
F = Fudge Factor for Group Trust
S = 1, if shop open; S = 0.5, if shop closed
ST = Shop Type Weighting; Jewellery/Clothes = 1.5; else 1.
M = 10 mins if Males go inside the shop with women; else 0 (10 mins = average time before told to leave)

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