Jani's Excursion to

Day 3: Petra

I woke up with a killer headache, a most unusual occurrence.  After glumly picking at what would otherwise have been a good breakfast, I was forced to conclude that I had gotten the flu.  But since moping around wasn't exactly an option, I drugged myself to the gills with pseudoephedrine and aspirin and headed back to Petra to use the 6 hours before the crash productively.

The sky was again overcast and I was too tired to take many pictures, much less any good ones.  We scrambled up the hill to take a closer look at the trio of tombs looking over the center of Petra.  Known as the Kings' Tombs, it is still unknown exactly who was buried in them, but evidently somebody pretty important as they are massive.  On our way back down, an adorable little Bedouin tot, covered in sand from curly-haired head to barefooted toe, came up to us with one puffy finger in his mouth and the other hand clutching a yellowish rock, chanting "One dinar, one dinar, one dinar..."  I would've taken a picture and given him a couple of fils, but the kid's parents were keeping a watchful eye on him while selling authentic Bedouin craftwork (made in Taiwan) nearby.

I originally wanted to go visit the High Place of Sacrifice, located in the hills high above the city, but I knew I wasn't in shape for any climbing and it was only with difficulty that my father managed to convince me to join the trip to the Monastery, which also turned out to be several kilometers uphill.  The narrow path was filled with puffing tourists and donkeys carrying lazier tourists, complete with the obligatory entourage of guides, hustlers and souvenir sellers.  Some 45 extremely tiring minutes later we reached the Monastery, which turned out to be another imposing facade in the same style as the Khazneh, but even bigger.  The construction of such an edifice in such a hard-to-reach place some 2000 years ago boggles the mind.  But not for very long: it was cold and windy at the top and after a luxurious meal of processed cheese and day-old khobz it was time to start the long walk back.  Only one entrance to Petra is open to tourists, and the treck from the Monastery to the entrance is well over 5 kilometers on foot.

Just as the pseudoephedrine was wearing off we reached our car, and it was an amazing feeling to be able to sit down and have the car move without physical effort.  We arrived back at Tayybeh Zaman and crashed in bed.

<<< previous
next >>>