Traveling with a newborn is exactly what it sounds like – but don’t be fooled by that. My husband and I figured that there was a big difference between listening to Lyovka cry from colic in a Moscow apartment, and listening to Lyovka cry from colic with a view of the Black Sea and the Kara-Dag volcano. We were right to pick the latter option this August. Traveling relaxed him. At worst, we took turns eating at restaurants while Lyovka was being wheeled around in a pram thoughtfully provided by a random person when we first got there. In general, Koktebel was awash with thoughtful random people at the end of summer. The plankton in the water lit up at night. Musicians played Pink Floyd covers, bathing suits were optional, people lit up lanterns and sent them out into the air and the open sea.
So this past weekend, as previously mentioned, Boyfriend and I decided to show my brother more of Jordan. Besides the already familiar sites that are Petra & Aqaba (we actually stayed at the Radisson at Tala Bay – which is pretty sweet – but drove into Aqaba for the evening), we wanted to drive down the legendary King’s Highway or King’s Way, pretty much one of the most ancient roads on earth.
We decided to try and take it back in the direction of Amman after leaving Aqaba on Saturday morning, figuring that we could drive a stretch on the main desert highway, and then take a detour. After climbing back up away from the Read Sea, I took a left turn where the sign said “King’s Way” – I had driven this stretch before, after leaving Petra the previous day, so I was certain we’d be alright. The fun started when we decided to begin asking locals how to get to Karak via the ancient back roads. Most people flatly stated that this road doesn’t even exist, and suggested we get back on the highway. Boyfriend’s dad confirmed that the road does, in fact, exist, but painted a grim scenario wherein our car would inevitably break down on the most desolate part of it imaginable, at which point we would all be humped to death by sheepdogs, or something like that.
Finally, we or, rather, I (since I was driving) screeched to a halt next to the local Marriott, nearly getting killed by a pissed-off family in an SUV in the process, and got confirmation from a desk clerk that we can take a rural road toward Tafila after driving out of Petra. When we finally made it to the crossing, my brother was asleep in the backseat and Boyfriend and I exchanged a look – “Get back on the boring highway? Or see the local wonders and risk humping by sheepdog?” It was no contest.