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  • Writer's pictureErin Nixon

June 25: Petra

Location: Wadi Rum; Jordan; Petra, Jordan

Sleeping outside was so nice. The desert is like the face of the sun during the day, but at night, it’s cold, a perfect temperature for sleeping.

We ate breakfast, baladi bread, jam, cheese, and hot tea, then got everything repacked. We left camp around 7:30 am and drove back to the village to wait for the bus to come to take us to Petra.

The bus came around 8:30 am, and the ride was about an hour long. Once we got to Wadi Mousa/Petra, we checked into our hotel rooms and ate lunch. We stopped by a bank on the way to Petra, and I finally got to change over my traveler’s checks.

We walked to Petra, and paid our entry fees. Petra is a lot more expensive than other things around Jordan. Incredibly overpriced for everything. We took horses into the city, then we walked to the treasury. The treasury is what everyone thinks of when they think of Petra. Think…Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. We took some pictures of the treasury, then rode camels down past the amphitheater, and some of the tombs in the cliff walls.

When we got off the camels, David and I got accosted by a man selling Roman coins. The coins were cool, so David talked with the man. The conversation went something like this…

David: Bi kam? (how much?)

Bedouin Man: 10 dinar

David: La’a, ketir auwi. (No, too much)

Bedouin Man: Okay 15 dinar for coin and lamp. (he produces a little oil lamp from nowhere)

David: La’a, 8 dinar for both

Bedouin Man: *looks at me* okay, 10 dinar for both…for her

David: 10 dinar, mashi (okay)

Bedouin Man: *looks at me* Husband? *looks at David*

Me: No, friend.

Bedouin Man: *looks at David* 5 camel, for her. I have two wives, five camel for her.

David: *completely serious* 5 camels? Mumkin (maybe)

Me: *has to turn away to stop laughing hysterically*

Bedouin Man: 5 camels, good camels. 5 camels for her.

David: *grins* 5 camels, mashi. (okay) *starts laughing* la’a, la’a (No, no)

Yeah…that was fun. The man insisted on giving me one of the Roman coins as a gift…and told David to come visit his tent in the Bedouin village above Petra…

After the bartering episode, I looked around the jewelry shop, and found some gifts to bring home. Everyone will be happy. They are made in Jordan, by the Bedouin women, as a part of the cooperative project started by Queen Rania. They are really pretty too.

David, Nathan, and I took donkeys up the mountain to the high place where the people of Petra sacrificed animals to the gods. It was an…interesting…ride up and back down, but David and Nathan had fun…and they didn’t fall off the mountain. Jacek had already walked up by himself earlier, so he decided to go on to the monastery further down while we rode the donkeys. We got back down a lot later than expected, and Jacek still wasn’t back from the monastery, so we walked back to the treasury and hung out on the benches for a while. Once 4 o’clock rolled around, Nathan went to look for Jacek while David and I stayed by the treasury. Thirty minutes later they still weren’t back, and we had told the guys with the horses that we would be back at 5 to go back, so David and I headed back up to the main gate to ride back. We got there at 5 and rode the horses back up the main entrance. We checked out a couple of the overpriced shops, and then Jacek and Nathan caught up with us. We walked to the Mövenpick, a Dutch hotel, and ate ice cream then we took a taxi up to the hotel to take showers. By that time we were all exhausted, dirty, sun burnt, and hungry. Never really great combinations… Later, we ate dinner downstairs, and then took the shuttle to Petra at Night. After sunset on certain days of the week, they put out candles down the path to the Treasury, and then hold a short concert down there. We walked down the path, but they had told us not to take pictures with flashes, and everyone did…so it sort of ruined it. Really frustrating. We have to go wait for the bus to Amman tomorrow, so I think I’m going to go to sleep. I’m tired, sore, frustrated, sun burnt, and irritated.

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