Day 6 (10/11/2011)   Jordan: Petra


Before   


    This day is entirely dedicated to visiting Petra. We will drive until Petra visitor’s center and, after getting the tickets, walking through the Siq until the Treasury. Once there we would decide if doing the way up to Monastery by donkey or by feet. What seems clear is we’re going to lunch in restaurant sited when this way starts.

Petra map

    Spots in map are:

 3- The Siq
 4- The Treasury
22- First stairs to Monastery and restaurant
 24- The Monastery

   The expected expenses for this day are:

 Petra entrance: 50 JOD
 Buffet restaurant lunch: 25 JOD.

After

   Once again, we don’t manage to be as early as we wanted: while waking up, get breakfast and exchanging money on a bank nearby we get into the car at 9:15. Somehow, my idea about Petra being some kilometers out of Wadi Musa is wrong and we’re parking at Visitor’s Center in two minutes. Tickets are 50 dinares per person.

   Now is time to walk: from entrance to the Siq is around one kilometer and inside the Siq there is an even longer distance to save. For the first part we’re offered riding a horse. Eva accepts when the horseman remembers us this is included in our ticket and we just should tip.
The Siq

   When arrived to the Siq, we do some pictures with the horse and the kind Bedouin who we tip with 2 dinars. The Siq is a narrow pass between tall and beautiful walls of rose-colured rock. The only way of avoiding to walk here is a two-seater carriage by 20 dinars one way. We prefer to walk enjoying every corner and taking over the tours stopped around their guide.


Water channels in the Siq
  
  And then, sooner than I expected, the Treasury appears in front of us through the tight opening at the end of the Siq and a spectacular bright coming from morning sun. The facade is impressive and people crowd in front of it engrossed by its view.

Treasury from the SiqTreasury

 



























  A child is already starting to offer donkeys to us for going up to the Monastery. Eva bargains until 7 dinar each, but as my mother is panicked about these animals, we decide I’ll do the path by walking together with my parents. I envy my wife and her donkey.

Visiting PetraEva riding donkey

















  When we leave the Treasury behind we go between rock walls full of ancient tombs until reaching the ruins of the Roman city. We’re not stopping so much on these places as we’re going to come back by this same path and we’ve decided to climb to the Monastery now, when we still are quite full of forces. Another kilometer, which Eva has already saved riding her donkey, takes us to the start of the around 800 steps stair and we’re going to face the moment I’ve feared most in this whole travel.

On our way up to Monastery
 


   We take more than one hour to do this path, stopping periodically to rest. Almost all the people we meet I their way down are Spanish and we’re always asking them about how much long is the way to end. When Eva greets us from the top seems unbelievable we got it. The reward is watching this impressive fašade gotten out from the rock and the bar which offers shadow, drinks and rest. We take some lemon with mint glasses by 3 dinars each.

The Monastery in Petra



   The way down in not comparable with the climbing and we do it in a lot less time. “Downstairs”, an empty restaurant with its buffet is waiting for us. We pay 17 dinars per person, excluding drinks.

   We start our way back stopping more often for visiting the Roman ruins and my feet are hurting. Sandals are not the right footwear for visiting Petra, the fine sand set between latchet and skin rubbing a lot.

Roman runs in PetraRoman theater in Petra
















   We’re continuously offered by camel or donkey rides, just as when coming, but we walk all the way. When we arrive to the Treasury again, it is showing its afternoon look, very different than the one in the morning, with no bright and alone, but equally beautiful in another way. We sit and rest in front of the quiet beauty of this fašade. Watching more into the details: the pink color tones or the holes in the rock at both sides making a sort of stairs. The journey is getting over, it’s only the one last part to our car: the Siq. From the Treasury we can see this narrow passage end, or start, as the picture at right below, made this morning. It is not more than a crack in the rock. It reminds me a butt, but maybe it’s just me.

Treasury at eveningThe Siq from Treasury
















   We arrive to the car exhausted and it is getting dark, so we are in our hotel in no time.

   I and my wife are going to a cybercafe just across hotel Street and, while I’m checking my email, Eva starts talking to the IT guy first, and the place owner later. This last one shows us pictures of Spanish celebrities and start to joking. Another young Bedouin appears talking a very good Spanish, it’s a funny guy and we all sit around a table making fun of everything, drinking Apple juice and smoking from shisha. We’re enjoying a lot this time and make some comparisons between our cultures.

   The one with the good Spanish shows us a TV documentary from Spanish tv in his cell phone, and he is playing a role on it as Bedouin! All of them have smart phones and the less famous celebrity they’ve got a picture with is Bill Clinton. At 1 AM, when they come back at home with their wives we’re going to bed too knowing tomorrow we must leave early for a day which will end in Egypt.