Tip #471: More in Petra

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.”  Joseph Addison

It was very hot and very dusty, although nice and cool in the shade of the caverns before you get to the open areas with the huge carved tombs, etc. Radwan said that there were many homes not yet excavated, but archaeologists do not consider them as significant as the tombs and temples- nor is there plentiful money to support this work.

Radwan mentioned that today (Good Friday) was exceptionally busy. For the past year or so, tourist traffic has been very light, due to fears about the region. He hoped things would be better soon.

As we walked, here and there we would find litter. Radwan, disgusted, would pick it up saying that it was left by Jordanians, because tourists are much more respectful of the site.

As a side note, litter is everywhere. It is piled disgustingly in the downtown of Amman, you see it on the side of the road even in very remote locations, and it sits in front of service stations and cafes. A terrible habit of Jordanians. I don’t know why.

I asked Radwan about the mosques, because every single one I’ve seen is different, with very different designs to the spires. He said it was personal preference and opined that he thought it would be better if the money that went into creating the more ornate mosques went to people in need instead.

The camels are quiet and calm. The donkeys have colorful saddles and are secured in part by a large cord that goes under their tails. Besides these and horses, which are continually offered as means of transportation, there are also covered buggies pulled by horses. They come thundering down through the paths, shouting at people to get out of the way!

I think that, in total, I walked for 4 hours- because you have to walk all the way in and then all the way out. In is mostly downhill. Out is, obviously, uphill. I’m glad that I carried a lot of water bottles and an apple. I started walking around 11 a.m. and got back to the starting place by 3 p.m. I was very dusty (my black walking shoes are a total mess), hungry and very very tired.

After I took 140 photos, my camera battery died. Luckily, I was almost at the end of the walk. Oh, I could have climbed into the mountains to go inside different tombs and temples. I’m glad I didn’t, although a camel ride back might have been a lot of fun.

After missing each other for about 30 minutes, during which time I tried calling both of his phones and finally called Lina, who came to the rescue, Ahmed met me and took me to a great buffet at a restaurant overlooking Petra’s hills.

May your learning be sweet.


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