From Damascus we headed south to Amman (which is not really worth writing about) and then to Petra. After 4 days of glorious exhaustion we hired a car and based ourselves in Madaba to explore the Jordanian desert and the dead sea area. We gazed out across the Jordan river to the promised land from Moses’ tomb on Mt. Nebo before crossing over into Israel.
While I may have used superlatives to describe sites in the past, let’s be very clear this time: Petra is easily the most wonderful single site I have yet seen! The rock-carved tombs, theatres and of course the famous treasury are absolutely fantastic, but it’s the utterly unique natural setting that makes Petra so impressive. I’ll let the pictures tell the story of our four days clambering the rocks, punishing our legs, treating our eyes and being constantly delighted.
There were a few surprises…. like the sudden flooding of the Siq and the resulting evacuation…
The little sun we did get was well-timed… we enjoyed this view before a 10km hike back home.
Finally on day 4 we mannaged to climb up to where one gets this view:
And picked a nice spot for a picnic lunch…
We enjoyed Petra by rain, cloud, sun and even some hail and walked a different path each day. Still we didn’t see it all by any means and never got tired of walking down the Siq anticipating the sight of the treasury peeking at us from around the next corner.
After Petra we put our faith in my ability to drive on the wrong (right) side of the road and clean the windscreen every time I wanted to turn. We drove through the dessert picking up hitch hikers and dropping them off (we think) where they wanted to go.
We made it to the site of Jesus’ baptism at Bethany
We also made it to the dead sea where instead of paying 10 dinar ($20) for a cold shower, we made one ourselves. Not too hard with a pocket knife and an 8L bottle of water 🙂
We ended our time in Jordan with a view from Mt. Nebo, from where Moses saw the promised land. Next stop, the holy land – Israel, Palestine and everything in between.