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Buses do run from Cairo all the way through to Amman, though you'd have to have masochistic
tendencies to embark on such a long ride voluntarily Jordanian JETT and Egyptian SuperJet buses make the 21-hour trek on Saturdays and Tuesdays, departing at 6am from the Arab Union Bus Company office (Tel: 02/290-90131 in Midan Almaza, Heliopolis. The fare, which includes the ferry crossing, is US$66, payable in dollars only.

However, the time-honoured method of getting from Egypt to Jordan involves a leisurely few days or more spent exploring the Sinai, from where there are two possibilities for crossing into Jordan. The town of Nuweiba, 70km north of Dahab, is linked to Aqaba by a daily ferry and catamaran service operated by the Arab Bridge Maritime Company (Tel: 02/356-2670), which run to an unreliable timetable. Although there are myriad ticket outlets in Cairo and elsewhere, it's perfectly safe to wait to buy your ticket until you get to the port some 8km south of Nuweiba town.

The slow ferry (April-Sept Mon, Tues, Fri & Sat In noon & 6pm, Sun, Wed & Thurs 3pm; Oct-March daily 3pm) takes up to three hours to do the crossing, and costs US$32 or ŁE109 in ordinary class, or US$42 or ŁE142 in first class. Grotty A/C cabins are available for an extra US$5/10.The catamaran (daily 1230pm & 430pm) takes an hour, and costs US$42 or ŁE142 All prices include the Egyptian departure tax Once you're through the formalities at Aqaba port, services stand poised to whisk you the 9km into town for JD1 per person.

An alternative option from the Sinai is to go overland through the Israeli resort of Eilat; this involves more bureaucracy than the boat but much less hanging around, and can be consider- ably cheaper too. Taba, on the Egyptian side of the border, is well served by transport from Nuweiba, Dahab and Cairo. The border itself is open 24 hours daily, but it's almost impossible to find any transport inside Israel during the Jewish shabbat, so avoid crossing after 2pm on Fridays or any time on Saturdays There's no Egyptian departure tax, and most nationalities are routinely issued with free Israeli visas on arrival Once in Israel, local city bus #16 (NIS41 runs directly to the Jordanian border, via Eilat’s Central Bus Station. Shared taxis will also do the trip. The journey from Taba to Aqaba need not take more than three or four hours. However, although the Israelis and the Jordanians will stamp you in and out on a loose sheet, the Egyptians won't -and this evidence in your passport will disqualify you from later entering Syria, Lebanon and most other Middle Eastern countries. If you have limited time and can afford the extra expense, catching one of the daily, flights from Cairo to Amman on either Royal Jordanian or Egypt Air is a viable option Reasonably regular charter flights also link Amman and Aqaba with Luxor, Hurghda and, Sharm el-Sheikh



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