Trip Start Mar 02, 2006
20Trip End Mar 23, 2006
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It was a fairly long drive to Wadi Rum so we slept or amused ourselves with travel games - 'I spy' was made more interesting by the language difference between the aussies and the brits!
On our arrival at Wadi Rum we took a jeep safari into the desert
The landscape was amazing - we visited about 3 different spots; the first had some old cavings and a Bedouin tent where we stopped for tea; the second area was a cavern within the cliffs where the sand were 3 different colours. Again there were some nebatian carvings and more recent Arabic carvings in the rock. The final area was a rock formation that made a bridge which we all climbed up for photographs. After about 2 hours in the desert we reluctantly left and made the way to our hotel in Wadi Musa Our rooms were spacious and looked fairly palatial compared with the other places we had staid. We had dinner and those of us were going to Petra by night wrapped up warm. We took the bus down to the entrance and met our guy, an older good who spoke in an almost perfect English accent. A few meters into Petra our guide explained the 'rules' of the evening; walk in single file and keep silence in order to get the true experience of the place. He very politely down these rules and never once said 'we couldn't' or 'its' not allowed' rather 'you will enjoy your experience more if you don't take flash photography'. Very charming guy! We then began our silent walk down the Siq. It truly was a magical experience walking down the gorge in the canyon in silent procession, illuminated only by glowing candles in paper bags which too the team of 7 men hours and hours to light. My experience was spoilt slightly by some Korean tourists in front of me who clearly hadn't understood, or were choosing to ignore the 'rules'. Eventually I dropped back in the group so I couldn't see or here them but wish I'd done this much earlier as by this point I was distracted and a bit wound up
We were lucky to have a full moon to enhance the candlelight and after about an hour of walking we came to a field of lights in front of the treasury - a totally awesome (in the true sense of the world!) sight. We were invited to sit down whilst a Bedouin and our guide played and sang some traditional music on a type of violin. After this a loan flautist cold be heard from within the treasury, he came out of and walked towards us through the candles - much more melodic than the screechy string instrument. During this we were served Bedouin tea and afterwards listened to the story told by the guie about the music and traditions of marriage. At the end of the speech he encouraged us to spread the word and be ambassadors for Petra and Jordan in our own countries as since the bombings in Amman tourism has been down 60%. I certainly will be.
We then had the opportunity to wander around and walk up to the treasury and absorb the atmosphere and we waited until most people had left - which also meant we had the Siq to ourselves on our return - fabulous!