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Here, there, everywhere... A modest attempt at chronicling my around the world adventure over the next year (or so).

You call him Dr. Jones...

JORDAN | Saturday, 23 May 2009 | Views [631]

At the bus station in Wadi Musa(which is the city around Petra) we met a guy in a taxi van who said he would take us to a hotel for free and if we did not like it then no worries. There are no free lunches traveling (actually there are but not this kind) but we bit and arrived at the Moon Valley hotel. One quick note, when Jessica and I first met we had a very early conversation on the phone one day. We were talking about places in teh world we would like to visit and one place that we both were absolutely positive we both wanted to visit was Petra. So 1.5 years later we were finally on the threshold of realizing this dream.

It was still early in teh day so we decided to find another hotel for the following two nights as ours was overpriced we thought. We did find another one managed by a young slickster named Odeha. He tried very hard to get us into a regular room but we opted for the newly renovated rooftop complete with new patio furniture and a bathroom that was cleaner then 90% of the bathrooms we have used on this adventure. He plied us with cake and tea but we stuck to the roof and bid him farewell until early the next day as we were getting an early start for Petra. When we got back to our other hotel we met a Canadian named Julian, we nicknamed him Denver after his guitar case before we knew his name. We talked about going to Petra that evening to see some later afternoon/evening light so we set out at about 4:30pm. Petra is an truly maginicant natural and man-made wonder but also one of the most expensive places to visit in the world, at least that we had visited. Also because it is so big you can buy multi-day tickets so we decided to buy a 2 day ticket intending to spend the last few hours of our first day in one canyon and the entire second day in the main section. We bought a ticket then decided we did not have enough time to do the first day so we went back 2 minutes later to change our tickets. Well, that just is not done at Petra so we argued with the ticket guy for 10 minutes he then told us to go to the tourist police if we wanted to complain. We did but they said we should have asked questions about when we could visit(which is true) and there were no refunds for subsequent days. Fine, then we would get our full three hours in and leave when we wanted to or where escorted out!

We chose to take a slot canyon trail and come the back way into Petra and save the main entrance for the morning of our second day. Well not sure how much you know about slot canyons but they fill up with water when it rains. Which apparently it had maybe not recently but recent enough to leave some standing pools. So after making our way an ever narrowing canyon it finally got to the point where I fell into a pool of water up to my thighs we decided to turn around. I felt like we were close but it was not worth it. The next day we got up early with the sun and made our way back to Petra to catch the morning light on the Treasury. As we made our way through the famous slot canyon we finally came upon the opening at the end where you gaze upon the Treasury. Petra was a city carved out of the rock 1000s of years ago and much of it is well perserved. The view of the Treasury after exiting the slot canyon is quite amazing and it had been featured in different movied including Indiana Jones and THe Last Crusade, so if you want to see it rent the movie! After the Treasury we made our way into the open canyon where is evidence of a town with a colonnade, some temples, lots of tombs above and then to finish a 45 minute climb up many stairs into the mountain to the cathderal. Even though the treasury gets the most attention I think the cathederal is even more impressive and the views from the top are also great. We came back down, had some lunch (hummus in a box, yummy!) and tried to stick around to see some of the tombs in the afternoon light. However, it was so damn hot and we were out of water because we shared our last bottle with Julian our Canadian friend who was also out of water and climbing to the cathederal, that we decided to head for home to our rooftop room. After hiking up the hill and getting back we met another American couple traveling around the world who had just arrived at the hotel. Chris and Lora were spending a few days in Petra before leaving for Amman and Syria much like us. While talking to them we realized it was Monday which is one of the nights they open Petra at night. We had wanted to see it at night but thought we were leaving before it happened. We grabbed some dinner, called our Couchsurfing hosts from Amman who it turns out were coming to Petra to see the evening progam and were off to meet Chris and Lora at the entrance.

We waited for Bianca and Akram at the entrance as we agreed to meet there before going into Petra. She is American, he is Palestine born in Jordan. They were also traveling with a German friend who was visiting Jordan. We walked and talked as we wandered through the slot canyon from the day before it was completely dark except the stars above and the luminaries that were lite along the path. IT was a completely different way to experience Petra and one we were happy to have, the path ended at the Treasury were everyone sat down(probably 100 people in total) on mats, listened to traditional Jordanian music, sipped tea and took photos. My photos were not great because there was not enough light for my little camera but I managed to get one with light from other cameras, you might have to zoom it in a little. We walked back out, said goodbye to Bianca and Akram until the next day in Amman. We met Chris and Lora back at the hotel and agreed to meet up for a swim at the sister property of our hotel the following day before leaving for Amman.

We left the next day to Ma'an on one bus only to wait for two hours for the second bus to fill up before leaving for Amman. Getting to Amman took longer then expected, we arrived after dark and had no idea where we were at. We found a phone to call Akram and a crazy cab driver who tried to have his brother covert me to Islam on the phone twice! He got lost and we ended paying a fortune to get to Bianca and Akram's house. We did spend much time in Amman knowing we would be back through in two weeks. The city is pretty modern compared with Cairo and Damascus so not much to report. Next stop Syria!!!

Tags: petra, wadi musa

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