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Trip Report Petra from Jerusalem/Some mistakes!

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We went for an overnight from Jerusalem to Petra by flying from Tel Aviv to Eliat and crossing the border there. Some good planning, some very poor planning. It is easy to make the plans over the internet. I booked the flights on the El Al site to leave Tel Aviv at noon and return the next day on the 2pm flight from Elait. Then I got concerned about the timing so I bought another ticket on Expedia on Arkia airline for the 4pm return flight. That was a very good idea.
I was planning to leave my luggage at the hotel in Tel Aviv where we were staying on the return, but was talked out of it since it meant going from Jerusalem to TA and then back to the airport. I definately should have left the luggage. No need to take it for just one night and it is a bit of a walk across the border pushing the luggage trolleys they have available. It was very, very hot this week in Eliat!!!!
It was a terrible mistake to have not realized that internal flights in TA leave from Terminal 1 not Terminal 3 where our taxi left us. Getting from 3 to 1 took over 50 minutes. We had to take a yellow bus, no, not the three yellow buses that only went to long term parking. Finally the bus came. We were very late. In fact we got toTerminal 1 only 5 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. We did get on the flight, and not the last people, but it was a stressful time. Not a pleasant experience.
Now we are in Eliat on a Summer Sunday. The airport cannot handle the number of planes landing and the luggage. It took 1.5 hours to get our luggage in a place with thousands of people, millions of crying babies, a few dogs, and unhappy people. Finally with luggage it was time to fight for a taxi to the border. Do not fly into Eliat on a summer Sunday or Thursday, so I have now been told.]
Now we are at the border. Only 4 other tourists there, backpackers. We get thru the formalities, cross the border, pushing our luggage, and are met by our car and driver from Red Rock tours arranged over the internet. His English was limited but he was fine to drive us to our hotel in Petra.
We stayed at the Movenpick hotel which is directly across from the entrance to Petra historical park. We got there too late to want to do anything but use the beautiful hotel swimming pool. What luxury!!!! We had our swim, rested, ate a lovely dinner at the beautiful rooftop dining space. Sorry not a full moon, half had to do. Went to bed. Very nice room in very nice hotel.
Up the next morning at 6am. At the ticket booth at 6:30, had to wait for the ticket man even tho the part officially opens at 6am. Planned this very early touring since it is so terribly hot this time of year. Could not have done it later in the day. Hired a horse and carriage and we were on our way. This was my second time at Petra and I was again amazed at how special it is. Well worth our trip to get there. Since it was so early there were few people there. Very nice. We drove around for 2 hours and then back to the hotel. The carriage was not comfortable but necessary for us. My husband was too tired to do the walking. This way he got a chance to see this wonder of the world.
We had breakfast at the hotel, took another welcome swim (a pool in the desert), and got back in our car at noon to do the return. A soldier with a machine gun at the Jordan border was helpful in putting our luggage on the trolley! Back to the TA airport which had few people. Got on the 3pm flight (an hour early!!)and off to TA.
Despite our mistakes I think going overnight to Petra is much better than the organized bus trips which do it in one day. Of course, several days in Petra/Jordan even better. IBut you can plan this yourself. We were there too short to have wanted a guide (running along the carriage?) but a guide would be a good idea.

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