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Thursday, July 6, 2000
Wadi Mousa, Jordan
Jordan's Flag

Wadi Mousa, Jordan:
Latitude: 30° 19' 14" North
Longitude: 35° 28' 44" East
Altitude: 3619 feet
From Seattle: 8518 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Orient Gate Backpackers Hotel

Today's Travel:
Country: Jordan
Region: South Jordan
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

The Siq Petra, Jordan

Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

The start of The Siq from inside Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Camel outside Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Camel outside Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Amy at one of the Necropolis facades Petra, Jordan

Doors / windows of the Necropolis Petra, Jordan

Amy and the colored rock Petra, Jordan

The Royal Tombs Petra, Jordan

Leaves and rock Petra, Jordan

Amy, against tomb wall Petra, Jordan

Rocks and sky Petra, Jordan

Mounted men Petra, Jordan

Door Petra, Jordan

At prayer Petra, Jordan

Colors in rock Royal Tombs, Petra, Jordan

Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Khazneh (The Treasury) Petra, Jordan

Camel Petra, Jordan

Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

Our shadows on Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

View from the top of Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

View from the top of Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

Ad-Deir (The Monastery) from half way up Petra, Jordan

Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

Ad-Deir (The Monastery) Petra, Jordan

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1183
Linear Dist: 230062
Countries Visited: 70
Regions Visited: 264
More stats...
Hotels: 405
Friends / Family: 302
Camping: 126
Hostels: 261
Transit: 75
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4127

Journal Entry:
Didn't quite make the sunrise at Petra - by the time we had breakfast, walked down, and bought our tickets it was well after nine. It should have been prime tour bus time, but there really weren't that many. Compared to when I was here two years ago there was hardly anyone - it must be the off season. The walk through the Siq was just as breathtaking as it was last time (see April 15, 1998). I think I annoyed Amy as I kept on rushing to get ahead of the tour groups so that we could come on the Khazneh (Treasury) by ourselves - but I think I was redeemed when she saw how dramatic it was (the Treasury is the tomb that was used in the closing scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).

We explored the Treasury inside and out then continued into the heart of Petra. We wandered through the canyon to the half buried facades and gapping windows and doors of the Necropolis (Street of Facades) - all wonderfully organic in their eroded state and decorated with the most incredible swirls of color (reds, blues, yellows, and black) in the exposed rock. Further down the canyon we passed the Amphitheater situated where the canyon starts to open up to the flatter central area. Wandering through the newly restored Market place we climbed up to check out a couple of digs that were going on (looked pretty boring). Along the colonnaded street (a few restored columns, but hundreds of sections of columns could be seen in the surrounding rubble) and through the Temenos Gateway to the large Qasr al-Bint. It's on of the only free standing buildings in Petra and looks typically roman in its construction - completely failing to compete with the Nebataean's carved buildings.

We climbed up to the tomb that the museum occupies (wasn't open when I was here before) - but it was unimpressive. Just for fun we wandered up the path carved into the side of the adjacent canyon, Wadi as-Siyagh. We wandered up and down stairs, through courtyards, and pass countless unnamed temples / tombs / storerooms (?). It's in places like that where you start to realize how amazing Petra really is - these spectacular facades and ruins that are so insignificant compared to the famous bits that they don't even get named. Eventually we made it to the bottom of the canyon and wandered back to the central area.

We had planned on spending the morning in Petra then taking cover during the hot hours in the middle of the day then returning in the evening - but by this time it was two o'clock - and very hot. We moved as quickly as we could back into the central area then along the far side and up on to the balcony where the Royal Tombs are. We explored the cool (relatively) vaults underneath the Corinthian Tomb (?) and then the tomb itself. We hiked past the rest of the Royal Tombs (Palace, Corinthian, Silk and Urn Tombs) to a stairway across from the Amphitheater. Then it was back to the Treasury, and into the Siq. As before it was amazing how much longer the hike back to the town (2 miles) takes.

In town we only had a couple hours before we wanted to return to Petra so we decided to skip going back to the hotel. I wimped out and decided I really wanted air-conditioning (it was very hot) so we went to Pizza Hut - the food was pretty mediocre but the A/C was wonderful. After lunch we wandered around a few of the tourist shops and checked out the new visitor's center (just an overpriced shop). It's amazing how much more developed the area is - just in the last two years (the Pizza Hut, Visitor's Center, and who knows how many hotels).

We wandered back into the Siq passing a few other tourists on their way out. We paused to admire the Treasury in the afternoon light - a beautiful deep red color - then hiked at a decent pace back through the central are to the steps leading to the to Ad-Deir (the Monastery) - we were told it's a thousand steps - and I think I believe it. Half way through the hike we paused to admire the Lion Tomb but by then it was starting to get late. We passed a couple others returning, but by the time we finally got there it was nearly seven o'clock and we had the place to ourselves - although a couple English guys showed up a few minutes later.

The police guard told us that it was forbidden to climb the Monastery anymore but that since there was no one else around it would be ok for us to. He then guided us to the top (I assumed looking for a tip). The view from the top was spectacular - out over the desert and mountains towards the setting sun. I think Amy was glad she did it afterwards, but she really wasn't happy while we were up there (it really is a long way down!) We scrambled back down and got to the valley floor just as the setting sun had turned the stone a deep golden color. I tried to tip our guide and was turned down - he just wanted to show us his home. We sat with him and played with his puppy and I had a cup of tea (free) before starting the long hike back.

The hike back was reminiscent of my first day here last time - it got dark on us (though no lightening or rain this time). By the time we got back to the treasury it was getting near nine and the Siq was pitch black. Lucky for us a couple hundred meters in to it they were lighting candles - hundreds (thousands?) of them - on Thursday night they do an (expensive) night show and we were lucky enough to get to take advantage of their candles, which I'm sure was the most impressive part of the show. By the time we hiked up the hill to the town we were exhausted. We couldn't buy water because no one had change for a twenty dinar note - finally a shop keeper just told us to pay tomorrow - we were saved! Took a taxi back to the hotel (it so much pain that any extra steps were to be avoided) and bought some fruit just outside for dinner. In the room I took off my sandals to discover blisters on both feet - both big toes and all along the top of my right foot. Taking the weight off my feet felt so good, even though everything started to throb. Took an amazing shower, tried to stretch, and then crashed hard.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Jordan
CIA World Fact Book: Jordan

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