[Mom – September 13, 2019 – We spent the day at Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The pictures do not even begin to show how amazing, majestic and awe-inspiring it is. We walked 5 miles on a steep downhill rocky path to see as much of it as we could. The walk down was pretty easy. We had to give up and ride camels out when we started back uphill for those five steep miles.]
I visited Petra back in 2016 with my ex-girlfriend and wrote all about our time exploring this World Heritage Site. Since I have been blessed to be able to return to Petra I wanted to make sure I showed my parents as much as they were able to see of this amazing site and then see a part I did not last time.
Walking from the Visitor Center all the way to the “Basin” is a 2.5 mile hike down a gentleish slope through narrow canyons while checking out the amazing carvings in the cliff face that are mostly facades to tombs (and rather barren inside given the facades). We were told they could walk into Petra (downhill) and could ride a carriage out (uphill) if they needed to. What they did not say was how we had to plan that before entering because by the time they were ready to go back there was a long line of people waiting for carriages. I had to talk both my parents into riding a camel halfway, from the Basin to the Treasury building (the most famous carved building facade) before they waited until a carriage would finally be able to take them the rest of the way. Side note, can you believe I was able to get my mother to ride two different animals two days in a row? Neither am I. Hahaha
Once I got them sorted out and on their way I had around 3 hours of sunlight remaining which was more than enough time to do the hike I wanted to do and that was the trail behind the Royal Tombs and up to the cliff edge overlooking the Treasury. I have seen photos from this location and wanted to take my own. Finding the trail was very easy since all you have to do is go to the left edge of the 5 or 6 carvings that make up the Royal Tombs and start up the trail/stairs and the trail itself is not even that long, maybe a mile and a half. I passed two or three Bedouin tents selling tea, water, and drinks only to find the overlook was completely covered by another tent and the only way to get a good view is to walk down into and through his tent to the cliff edge. The view was spectacular and I think I got a great photo to match the ones I have seen (see cover photo), but I refused to buy the required drink the guy demanded since he blocked all the other possible view points with borb wire and made you come into his tent and then charged double what the guys down the trail charged for tea. For me it was a principle thing since he did not own the land and simple made it so you had to come to him.
Instead I went back 5-10 minutes and stopped at Rashid’s tent and boy am I glad I did. While his view is not overlooking the Treasury it is overlooking the entire valley floor and you can see pretty much the rest of Petra including the Monastery and High Place of Sacrifice. But the best part was simply hanging out with Rashid and chatting. I ended up staying for over an hour drinking tea and chatting. He told me he lived right there and at one time he had a Facebook account, but got fed up with the demands of social media and threw his phone into the fire. Good for him. I am sure we all have had the same thoughts. Haha. When it was time to head back to my hotel he even showed me a shortcut to the Treasury that saved me an hour or more. We headed back to the overlook and then he took me down this rock slide right to the Treasury. Along the way we picked up plastic bottles that everyone left behind and filled my backpack (I REALLY, REALLY hate single use plastic water bottles!!!!!!!).
What an amazing way to spend a second day at Petra.