Petra to the promised land

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.

First glimpse of the treasury

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.

Seeing the treasury always makes us smile

There were a few surprises…. like the sudden flooding of the Siq and the resulting evacuation…

What? Where's our tour bus? This is not on the schedule.

The little sun we did get was well-timed… we enjoyed this view before a 10km hike back home.

Sun on the monastery

Cool rock paterns

Finally on day 4 we mannaged to climb up to where one gets this view:

Quite a climb for quite a view

And picked a nice spot for a picnic lunch…

No picnic table, but a nice quiet spot

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.

Er Nuala... Straight of Left? Iraq? or Syria?

We made it to the site of Jesus’ baptism at Bethany

The site of Jesus' baptism

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 🙂

Portable home-made shower

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.

The promised land.... it's just over there...

2 thoughts on “Petra to the promised land

  1. They always talk about the risk of flash floods at Petra, but when you’ve only done it in temps of 30-40 and you haven’t seen rain in a month, its kinda hard to believe, I can’t believe you got evacuated!
    Petra is quite simply one of the most stunning places in the world.
    Did you love Madaba too? The churches are just gorgeous there. And the Baptism site is looking more impressive than a couple of years ago. Have they finished the Catholic church yet? Did you manage to get to Umm Qais (where demons went into pigs and they ran down into the sea)?
    So many questions! Love that country.
    Enjoy the Holy Land, its a totally different sort of amazing.

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