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Jordan Travel Report Part II - Day In Petra

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Jordan Travel Report Part II - Day In Petra

In lieu of galloping through the Siq (canyon leading to the Treasury) Indiana Jones style, we settled for a 15 minute horseback stroll to the beginning of the canyon (you can’t take a horse any farther). It really would have been an easy walk, but our friend had never been on a horse before and was pretty jazzed about riding into Petra. The prices for horses, donkeys, camels, etc. are negotiable so don’t be afraid to offer a lot less than what is offered to you and barter from there. Remember though in the long run you are talking in the matters of dollars so decide how much bargaining you really want to do. Although it was a little difficult waking up at 6:15 in the morning, the metaphorical worm, was arriving at the Treasury without another tourist in sight. I would highly recommend getting out of bed early so you can experience this because even at 7PM, there were a bunch of people at the Treasury. After strolling for about 20 minutes though this very narrow canyon, you round one last corner and there is the breathtaking Treasury. We had about 5 uninterrupted minutes (except for a few shop keepers and camel touts) with just the three of us to take photos and soak in the Treasury.

After soaking in the beauty of the carved temple, we settled on our plan of attack for all of the major sites in Petra (there are something like 800 tombs and buildings). We mounted some trusty steeds (donkeys) to do most of the work on the steep hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice. It would probably take you an hour to hike up to the top of the High Place (give or take), but since we were there just for the day, we decided that $5 for an entertaining donkey ride on the way up and hiking on the way down was a good method. We visited several tombs, buildings, and the Roman amphitheater before stopping for our lunch break. There really is only one proper restaurant there (the Basin affiliated with the Marriot) and while every tourist goes there, being able to sit in the shade and have ice in a drink was worth it. We then all boarded donkey #2 for the very long uphill trek to view the Monastery, which was followed by Bedouin tea in an old Petra tomb.

Although rushed and tiring, it is possible to see the major sites in Petra in one day (7AM to 7PM). Under different circumstances, we would have stayed longer, but seeing that this was a long weekend trip from Cyprus we settled on two nights and one full day in Petra. I really would have liked to have hiked a bit off the main tourist path, but we’ll save that for the next time. In my opinion the highlight of Petra, is the initial glimpse of the Monastery after your walk though the Siq…the rest although quite impressive is just icing on the cake.

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