I have fallen in love with Petra. I thought seeing Petra by Night was magical, but seeing it by day was absolutely breathtaking. Venturing through the Siq by day allowed us to see all the hidden carvings in the walls that we walked by at night. Before traveling here I thought that the Treasury was all that was in Petra. It was fun to see that the people of this region carved much more into the rock! I learnt that it is an entire city that is still being discovered by archaeologists today! Petra was even kept a secret to the western world until 1812. Ogla our tour guide was an amazing host and a very knowledgeable guide. He ran a tight ship and made sure that we were all where we needed to be at the perfect time to avoid running into a mob of tourists. This was great because we were able to enjoy the Treasury at the end of the gorge in almost complete silence. It really set the mood.
Part of the hike in Petra was up a mountain side and let me tell you that after Mt. Sinai I was not up for another climb up a mountain! So we got Ogla to bargain out a deal for us to ride donkeys! It was worth every single penny! If you are planning to visit Petra sometime soon, be sure to not pay more than ten Jordanian Dollars! We were so excited to add another mode of transportation to our list; Evan and I must have looked like little kids riding miniature ponies at a birthday party for the first time. We had so much fun having donkeys escort us up!
On our tour were able to add a 4×4 jeep ride through the desert on our list of transportation. We had to take these to reach the Bedouin desert camp in Wadi Rum. We made sure that we asked Ogla for the craziest driver of the bunch, and Amjad was indeed the craziest driver! Evan, Tanya, Max and I all had a blast, flying around the inside of the jeep and all over the sand dunes! We drove about two and a half hours into the desert to our camp where, upon arrival as a Bedouin host tradition we enjoyed a cup of tea with the host. After ditching our bags in our tents we were able to sit and watch the sunset in the distance. Once the sun went down the camp was full of paper bags with sand and candles. Wandering out into the darkness for the bathroom wasn’t as scary as I thought, having the candles in the bathroom made it the most romantic pee I have ever had!
That night we enjoyed singing, dancing, and roasting marshmallows with the group. Everyone shared songs from around the world and a few dance moves too! I can’t remember the last time I sat around and clapped so much! Elementary school maybe? It was late to bed that night and early to rise for a long drive out to the Dead Sea.
- Katie Powell