a brief & blessedly quiet return to petra

Standard

Wednesday, November 9:  This morning I lounge in my warm bed at the Rocky Mountain Hotel and think about what to do with my day.  On my first day in Petra, I had to make a decision, without even knowing how much time it would take to see the place, whether to buy the one- , two- , or three-day pass.  It was 50 dinar (~$70) to buy the ticket for one day, 55 dinar (~$77) for two days, and 60 (~$84) for three.  EXPENSIVE, right?? Since I knew I’d be in Wadi Musa, the town next to Petra, for 3 days, I went ahead and got the ticket for 3 days, just in case.  Yesterday, I went to Wadi Rum so I didn’t use my 2nd day pass.

Looking up at Petra

Looking up at Petra

entering Petra

entering Petra

a return trip through As-Siq

a return trip through As-Siq

Since I sleep in this morning and miss the early bus back to Amman, I now have to wait till 4:00 to catch the next bus.  So, I feel I should take advantage and at least use my third day pass that I already paid for.

me with the Treasury behind....again

me with the Treasury behind….again

This time, Matt will not be along as he headed back to Madaba, home of Byzantine-era mosaics.  So, this time I can go alone, soak in the ambiance and beauty that is Petra in peace and quiet, and make the long climb up to the High Place of Sacrifice.

I pack my bag, get a ride with a couple from the hotel down to Petra, ride the horse to the entrance, walk through As-Siq again.  This time, as it is later in the morning, the light is gorgeous, richer, the walls of the canyon more of a deep terra-cotta.  I take my time, watch the people, absorb nature’s striated paintings of color on the vertical rock faces.  I look up at the blue sky coming through the crevasses, the sunlight streaming in.  I step aside to let the horse buggies clatter past.  I take pictures in a different light and in fact I see the place all afresh, silently, without incessant chatter about sports to mar my experience.

mules waiting patiently for riders

mules waiting patiently for riders

taking the donkey up to the High Place of Sacrifice

taking the donkey up to the High Place of Sacrifice

Again, by the time I get to the Treasury and then to the place where you start the climb to the High Place of Sacrifice, my legs are already tired so I take another donkey to the top.  These steps are much steeper but not as far distance-wise, so I’m at the top in no time flat.  Yes, call me lazy if you like…

At the top of the High Place of Sacrifice, all I see are some good views, but not as good as the views I saw near the other sacrifice lookout near the Monastery on Monday.  There is a good view of Petra down below.  The High Place was the venue for important religious ceremonies honoring Nabataean gods.  It was perhaps also used for funeral rites.

the view from the High Place of Sacrifice

the view from the High Place of Sacrifice

the view of Petra from the High Place of Sacrifice

the view of Petra from the High Place of Sacrifice

playful mules at the High Place of Sacrifice

playful mules at the High Place of Sacrifice

After wandering around a bit at the top, I walk back down the steep steps back to the Street of Facades, where I begin the long walk back out of Petra, past the Treasury again, and down As-Siq and then take the horse again from the entrance to the main gate.

the Street of Facades

the Street of Facades

looking up at Petra

looking up at Petra

My last view of the Treasury in the best light

My last view of the Treasury in the best light

My favorite picture of the Treasury ~ a parting shot :-)

My favorite picture of the Treasury ~ a parting shot 🙂

At that point I take a walk in the streets looking for the Red Cave Restaurant so I can have some lunch.  The restaurant has walls of smooth stones and is spacious and cool and has local Bedouin specialties.  I order some beef keftah with vegetables which is excellent.

inside the Red Cave Restaurant in Wadi Musa

inside the Red Cave Restaurant in Wadi Musa

my lunch at the Red Cave

my lunch at the Red Cave

After lunch I look briefly into the little gift shops and come away empty-handed.  I catch a taxi back to the hotel, where I soon catch another taxi with a young lady from the hotel to the bus station.  We get on the bus to Amman and ride for 3-4 hours until we reach the center of the city again.  Luckily the Eid holiday is winding down and the noise level has subsided greatly.  Thank goodness.

At least this time it isn’t raining in Amman, and so I venture out, at the hotel staff’s suggestion, to a restaurant called Hashem about a 10-minute walk away.  There, in a dirty little alley, is a dirty little restaurant with plastic tables.  The owner, noting that I am alone, sticks me at a table with a young couple from Spain. The Spanish couple is teaching in Palestine; he teaches Spanish and she teaches English.  They are also in Jordan for the Eid.  I order Jordanian foul:  Fava beans, salt, garlic, green peppers, lemon.  It is absolutely delectable.  I eat it all, every last bite, soaking it up with my pita bread.  For such a dive of a restaurant, the food was out of this world!!

When I arrive back at the hotel, I ask whether the staff was able to find anyone going to Jerash and the north tomorrow.  In fact, he says, two Italian men are going to Jerash and I can accompany them.  Fun times!

Advertisements

About catbird in japan

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

2 responses »

  1. Dear Lucy,

    I am planning a 5-days trip to Jordan from Kuwait with my wife and our “then” 8 months-old Infant son with the following tentative itinerary from 3 Oct to 7 Oct (Eid Break):

    D1: Land at 10 AM and direct from airport to Wadi Rum and overnight in camp

    D2: Petra full day, overnight in Petra

    D3: Dana, Dead Sea, Mount Nebo, Madaba, overnight in Madaba

    D4: Jerash, Ajlun and/or Umm Qais), overnight in Amman

    D5: Amman and departure at 10 PM

    Would Early October be a good time to travel to Jordan and more importantly with all the internal travel involved, would it be a huge trouble/inconvenience with our Infant son?

    And Should I plan a self-drive trip following the above itinerary or a tour-operator trip which would cost me somewhere in the range of USD 1500 to USD 2000? I was doing my research and this seems a bit too high considering it is just a 3-star accommodation cost.

    I am absolutely fine with self-driving and it would also provide a bit og flexibility to us and also the fun of self-exploration.

    How safe would be a self-drive across Jordan and how convenient considering we can’t speak Arabic.

    Look forward to your response.

    Thanks a ton in advance!

    Regards,

    Nishant

    • Hi Nishant, I’m Cathy, not Lucy, but I’ll be happy to tell you what I think. I think, considering that you have an 8-month-old infant, that you will do well self-driving in Jordan. I hired a driver directly from my hotel in Amman, but I think one could easily drive throughout the country. Lots of people speak English, and the roads seem easy to navigate, except maybe right in Amman. I went in early October and the weather was perfect. The only problem of course was that it was Eid in Jordan, so people everywhere in the country were on the go. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your trip!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s