Petra & Wadi Rum

Great day yesterday … Though a long one.
Early wakeup (body clock still thinks it’s back in Australia), early breakfast and early departure to entrance – just down road from our hotel – to ancient Petra.

This is a place that’s quite unbelievable! Petra (meaning “rock”) was in it’s prime around the time of Christ 2000 years back and was a city with buildings, tombs, theaters etc carved into the side of mountainous cliff faces. Parts of “Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade” were filmed here – think final scenes. To get to what some would call the 8th wonder of the ancient world, you walk down this long narrow gorge (called the Siq) – sometimes on remains of an old Roman road, with carvings frequently either side of you.

Then amazingly you come upon this majestic frontage to a building known as the Treasury. At this point the Siq opens up to the outer Siq and an astonishing array of frontages, tombs and more open up before your eyes. Could have spent much longer here. Bedouin people never far away offering camel, donkey, horse or buggy rides – this ancient Nabatean city covers quite some area. Dale and caught a buggy ride back to the visitors centre at the top – rock and roll!

From there we drive through desert country like I’ve never seen it before, arriving early afternoon at Wadi Rum – real Lawrence of Arabia country. Wadi (arabic for “valley” and “rum” – high places) is a national reserve and features vistas and Bedouin camps like I’ve never seen before.

We go on a two-hour jeep ride – our party of 15 sits in the rear, open cabin of 3 vehicles – driven I’m convinced, by 14 year olds. A lot of fun – especially with the 3 young drivers choosing on our way back to the Visitors Centre, to drag each other across the desert sands. I kid you not. As we arrive back there (around 4 pm) the sun s starting to fade and the sun shining on the rocks and mountains creates beautiful contrasts of colour. To cap it all off (pun intended) Dale and several other women wear a traditional Arabic head scarf. Dale earns the title Queen of the Desert for her prowess at helping several ladies get their headgear on.

We then make the long 4 drive to Amman (Jordanian capital) getting to the comfortable Region hotel. Get to bed around 10 – woken up this morning just after4 by both phone ringing and the local Islamic call to prayer ringing out across the city

Today – off to Mt Nebo (where according to Bible Moses was shown the Promised Land he never entered) before crossing the Jordan River at the Allenby Gate into Jerusalem.

Stay tuned

David (& Dale)

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