Amman is a bustling and beautiful city. Spent the night at the really nice and inexpensive ($80/night) Century Park hotel. In the morning, the ground handler for my plane came to pick me up. Before starting from the hotel he wanted me to settle the bill (no credit card but cash only). The invoice was for $1200 (excluding hotel and fuel), most of the charges I did not understand but what stood out was a $200 charge for transporting me to the hotel and back. The hotel was only 6 KM away from the airport. Not much I could do but to pay the invoice. Feeling a bit ripped off I headed for the Airport.
The Marka Internationals Airport is one of the two International airports in Amman. Queen Alia being the main one. Marka is not much in use and I was the only one passing through this morning. With lots of security people around, I had to go through three separate security check stations with metal detector doors and x-ray machines. These security checkpoints were within 10 yards of each other. It was hard to understand why I and my luggage had to go through metal detectors and x-ray machines three times and swabbed, but they cleared me and I am ready to leave for Bahrain.
It was an 875 NM long flight. As I reached at my assigned altitude of 17,000 feet, I encountered head winds. With these headwinds I was barely going to make it to Bahrain, not a comforting thought. I texted the situation to my logistic company in Egypt. They checked weather information available to them and determined that if I climbed to 19000 feet I would have tail winds instead of headwinds. It is hard to believe but sure enough when I climbed to 19000 feet, the headwinds became tailwinds (I probably caught the jet stream prevalent due to easterly rotation of the Earth) and I had no problem making it to Bahrain comfortably. All of my flight was over Saudi desert. There was nothing I could see except a line in the sand that is the highway crossing the desert. I wondered how the Bedouins ever crossed such a vast desert on camels!
It is sunny and over 100 degrees. The desert heat in Bahrain is stifling and I am happy to be at the hotel.
Next stop Muscat, Oman!