The “Lost City” of Petra. One of the Modern 7 Wonders of the World, featured famously in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. I have to shamefully admit that I did not even know about Petra until I was researching up on what there was to do in Jordan when contemplating whether or not I wanted to travel there. Considering I went to one Wonder of the World last year (Machu Pichcu), it made perfect sense to visit another this year!
Petra was the main highlight of our trip to Jordan and we got one full day there. I didn’t know what to expect as I had only watched a small BBC documentary on it and it seemed like Petra itself was a very large area, and I wasn’t sure if all of it was open to the public.
We just left the itinerary to our tour guide, who passed us off to a local English speaking guide. We were quite happy to separate from the rest of our regular tour group as they were middle aged aunties and uncles who probably would be slower walkers. However, the down side was our local guide would only take us for about 2 hours (to a specific location), and if we wanted his guidance for extra distance, it would cost us more. The guide took us on the Main Trail towards the famous Treasury.
On our own, we walked the Ad-Deir (Monastery Trail), up to “The Best View Ever” and also the Al-Khubtha Trail where the view of the Treasury from above is possible! According to their trail guide, we supposedly walked over 14km this day!!! However I’m not quite sure how accurate their measurements are because most of their “durations” were extremely long…we probably didn’t do the complete full trail as they are depicting.
The walk to the Monastery consisted of many flights of steps as we had to hike up towards the top of a mountain. For the “best view in Petra” we had to hike up some more too, but the shot was definitely well worth it. The hike towards the viewing point of the Treasury from above however, was very brutal for me as we had walked for over 4-5 hours and the temperature was well over 35 degrees.
Some bedouins (local nomadic Arabs) followed us and guided us towards the Treasury look out point. I’m sure because they were banking that one of us (probably me) would eventually get too tired and lazy to do the hike, and request for a donkey ride up instead. However, I was too cheap, and also I don’t think it’s good treatment of the donkeys so I suffered and struggled through the walk at my own slow pace. It was definitely a cool view from up top but I was extremely tired, and also quite scared of the height to truly enjoy the view that I am sure was breathtaking. We were thinking of tipping the bedouins a bit since they were so helpful (and because our guide wanted to charge us about $40 to take us up!!), but they ditched us as we started going back downhill along easier paths : /
I think Petra was the highlight of my trip even though I complained a lot about the heat and being tired. It was truly amazing to just simply be apart and being able to see such vastly different landscape and architecture than what we have back in the city and in Toronto.
Funny side story, we tried to bargain with a mini path side booth (like a really ghetto one where it just an old lady and a table of trinkets), and she was totally not having it. We had to fake pretend to leave and not buy anything before she would agree for like a $1-2 discount. Haggling was much easier in Peru. It was confusing in general why items in Jordan were so costly given that they are still considered a developing country…Maybe the income disparity is high though as many of their American clothing at the malls were more expensive than they are back in Canada. I understand it is imported thus resulting in high prices…but it also means that there is a large enough population whom can afford such prices too. Yet there are children along the hikes of Petra who are trying to make money selling tourists rocks (illegal and kind of silly though as I can totally just pick up my own rock).