Saturday, November 14, 2015

Treasure Hunting in Petra

If there was one site I was most excited about for this trip, it was Petra.

Petra, also known as the Rose City, is the 2,000 year old Nabatean (Arabs in that region) capital accidentally rediscovered in 1812.

The travel agency suggested that we bring a face mask for Petra because the walk could be dusty. I brought them, but didn’t use them.

It was almost a three-hour drive from Amman to Petra. Our day began with a mass in a nearby church in Amman. We went back to the hotel for breakfast before getting into the bus for our drive to Petra. We also stopped for lunch before proceeding to Petra. It was early afternoon when we got there.

Another benefit of going with a tour group is that they take care of queing up to buy the tickets. The list wasn’t long, but it still saved us the hassle.


The ticket price includes the horse ride going to the entrance of the Siq. The Siq is a half-mile long gorge going to the Treasury. You’ll can walk to the Siq, or rent a carriage going to the Treasury. I suggest just walk.

It was a fun walk. We took our time enjoying the place and taking photos.

The beauty of the place is found in the narrow gorgeous path took up a lot of my space in my memory card. For the handicapped or the elderly, the carriage may be an option (no idea how much though).

Make sure that you have your camera settings in place. I forgot to set-up mine in vivid colors so we had to redo some of the photos when I realized I had the setting wrong. No problem with me posing for the camera again.  

Those riding a carriage.

Do watch out for the horse poop. There's a lot of them.  

I wore something light and airy. Jeans and shirt would do but I like to put more effort. So I wore shorts over leggings, a light pink shirt over a tank top, a thin cotton cardigan, knee-high socks and my pink Merrell shoes. I thought that went pretty well with the colors of the Siq. Don't forget your hat and shades, and slather some sunblock before heading out into the sun.

The walk wasn’t dusty. The ground was uneven so you have to watch your step at all times. 

It was pretty serene being between these rocks. Even with the sunlight, it was pretty cool.

*Play Indiana Jones theme song*

Notice that there are some wearing jackets. It is quite cool.

Watch out for the part where the gorge becomes narrower, after that...

...we reached the Treasury!

Camels were "rented out" for photo purposes. The camels looks thin and underfed.

Family pic!

There were touts everywhere.The touts offered silver bracelets for 3 pieces for $10 (They sell using USD currency). Then it became 4 for $10. They ultimately offered 8 pieces for $10. Lesson: do not buy immediately and haggle hard. The bracelets have pretty carvings which they say was made of some sort of local silver. Whatever. They were cheapo giveaways. Though not particularly unique to Jordan.

Mama vs. touts

We came from that narrow crack

There were a lot of vendors and a lot of tourists in that small area. A photographer offered his services to take a group photo. We all got a copy for $10. I know I know, it is touristy. But like I said, sometimes things like this are ways in "helping them out".

Group photo

One disadvantage of being with a tour group, is having limited time for a place. We only had 15 minutes to enjoy the Treasury (but I think we extended to 30 minutes). I know that there are steps leading to a plateau where you can view the Treasury from above. We didn't have time for that. Just enough time to enjoy the walk in the Siq and the facade of the Treasury and take some photos. 

You've probably seen the Treasury from Indiana Jones (a 1980s film)...

...and Transformers

Standard shoe shot

GOATS GOATS GOATS of different colors

Petra did not disappoint. I knew beforehand that we didn't have a lot of time for the Treasury. So I just have to go back to explore that...someday. I also think it would be fun to stay overnight near the Siq and explore the Siq at dawn and watch as the sun lights up the entire place.

Our last stop for the day was this place where you can get some water from a spring from the mountain. The water had some "miracle properties". Not sure if that was true. I got a bottled water then bathed with it in the hopes of mitigating my dandruff. It didn't help (calamansi rinsing did though).

Our day ended pretty early which I really liked. It was the second day but I haven't fully caught up with the stress from the jet lag and a lot of walking and waiting from the previous day. The waiting is almost as exhausting as the walking part. I was glad for some free time after dinner to just rest.

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