Having seen and accomplished so much in one day, it was now time to head back, it was time to retrace all of our footsteps way back to the Siq. Looking at my watch, I was remembering the warning that Rod had given Michel and I being to be down the mountain before nightfall. Mentally calculating the time, we were safe on that aspect however we didn't have any time to loose being so far away.
The descent along the mountain's cliff, down all of those steps proved to be even more enjoyable the second time around. New scenes of striking beauty that went unnoticed the first time were now being discovered. Merchants encountered on our way up selling souvenirs had now completely vanished leaving behind only wooden tables as a token of their presences. Donkeys carrying on their saddles huge containers filled with water were going up the mountain along with their Bedouins masters who with a whip were guiding them up. A few families actually lived here in these mountains.
After a good hour of descending the mountain by almost jumping from step to step due to our anticipation of early arrival, we were finally on flat land where hastily Michel and I proceeded to walk in the direction of the Siq, still a fair distance to go. Passing by some locals who desperately tried to persuade us to ride donkeys in a last attempt to make a few bucks at the end of the day, after a few negotiations, a deal was made.
First time riding a donkey proved to be quite a fun experience. The Bedouin's name was Mohamed and he walked hastily and even ran in some instances right next to me and this, all the way to the Treasury while holding at times the donkey's rope. He had a dark complexion from years of being in the sun, wore an Arabian headpiece tied up around his head and appeared much older than his 35 years of age due to his living conditions.
We chatted on different subjects from him telling me that he always carried a dagger around his belt, that he always lived in the mountains and that he would never move. Petra was his life which he greatly enjoyed and that his sleeping accommodations had a million stars whereas mine, only 5 being a five star hotel! This was the second time within one week that I've heard that line! First time was in Wadi Rum from Ali, our Bedouin guide. Could there actually be truth in all of this or was it simply fiction?
In the meantime, Michel rode his donkey just like a real pro a good 20 feet ahead of me. Looking all around me, the place was much crowded than before having more tourists walking the grounds. We passed in front of the same temples in which under a different light looked even more beautiful.
After a good half hour of easy riding, the Treasury was finally reached where Michel and I gracefully thanked Mohamed for his services and tipped him even more. We had reached the end of the ancient city, we were almost at the end of our journey in Petra.
On one side, the Treasury's carved structure stood still and seemed to be sleeping in the shadow of the mountains whereas opposite to it, the Siq was enticing us to leave the grounds before nightfall.
Looking behind me for a very last time, a goodbye kiss was blown into the air to the Treasury as I stepped into the Siq for my final passage out of this ancient city. I was saying goodbye to Petra in my very own special way!
Thankful for my journey into time - my journey into the lost city of Petra!