From the Red Sea port of Aqaba, Jordan
I am at the ancient Nabataean port city of Aqaba on the shore of the Red Sea in Jordan. I am walking distance to the Israeli border... Jerusalem is a 3-hour drive from here, Iraq is an 8-hour drive. Baghdad is 13 hours away. I have seen a lot of the Saudi Arabian coast... our boat maintains a 1/2-mile distance at all times. Upon entering Jordan, an Israeli patrol boat escorted us into port.
Jordan is WONDERFUL. There is nothing to be afraid of here. The people are friendly, everything is kept very clean and even the King is cool. The young king Abdullah drives a Harley-Davidson and pilots his own planes and helicopters everywhere he goes. He posed as an old man at a hospital to get an inside view of healthcare and changed the way public and government facilities are run when he discovered inefficiencies.
I highly recommend Jordan as a vacation destination. Petra is very likely the most amazing place I have ever been. Aside from the Giza plateau and some of the incredible Egyptian temples and tombs I have seen.
I am unable to bring my travelogue up to date right now because simply too much has happened since my last chance at a computer. I spent much of the last week far out in the Libyan desert at an Oasis called Siwa. Then we spent lots of time in the deserts of Jordan. I have traveled by plane, train, caravan, horse, donkey, horse-drawn carriage, donkey-cart, ship, flatboat, bus, car, taxi, 4X4 jeep, and miles and miles on foot. On this trip i have set foot on the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. This has been the experience of a lifetime.