So my last post, I think, left off just before the title would actually come in. So as the boat is pulling into Aqaba, and we're getting off, the customs officer forms people into two lines: one for those with visas, and one for those without. Apparently we could've gotten visas on the boat, but by time one of us thought to check, they had just closed the window for doing that. We think they made some announcements about it, but in Arabic only over speakers that, even if they had made an announcement in English, I'm not certain I could've understood anyways.
So they take our passports, then herd us off the boqat into a waiting area. We explain to everyone that we can that we didn't get a stamp on the boat, and that we don't have our passports, but as time goes on I get more and more panicked because I'm in a foreign country and I don't have my passport because some official took it. Eventually, though, they do bring us our passports, stamped with a Jordanian visa. *phew*
We get into town, find a hotel, then head out to explore for a bit. Mainly, though, we just end up sitting in sea-side coffee shops and chatting over tea and hookah.
Today, I've spent some time trying to find out whether it's possible to do a camel trek in Wadi Rum, a rocky-deserty area (I think it is... though it's not clear to me how much an all-day thing will be. Probably not more than 100 USD or so), some time in this internet cafe, and now i'm going to see about either hanging out on a beach, or going snorkeling. Then tomorrow: Wadi Rum!
The terrain here is pretty rugged, very mountainous and dry. I'm trying to think of an appropriate comparison to something in the states, but can't at the moment. I haven't really been to Sedona, but that might be closest.