Trekking in Jordan - Day by Day Account - Hike to Little Petra and Petra
Our day started with Michael S peeing in the campsite. Lovely! Then we had a brief hike through the dunes and Abdulla continued with his generosity.
We hiked until we were hauled by the 4x4’s to another area to began our hike to Little Petra before continuing to Petra proper.
Along the way we past a few more Bedouins. Abdulla repeated his ritual and this time members of the group happily donating morsels of food from our lunch to children. People were indeed incredibly friendly. One boy walked the desert with no shoes on.
The arid land had a beauty all its own. Just a scattering of XYZ trees littered the beige landscape. Rocky mounds also decorated the backdrop and often provided a wonderful perch to view the desert-scape.
By midday we had enough of Michael S's comments, so we took matters into our own hands with our trusty duct tape finding yet a new use in Jordan, mouth fastening.
We cut a path through the rocks and dropped into a valley leading to Little Petra.
While not as grand as Petra itself, it was still highly impressive to walk around the 2,000 year old ruins carved directly into the stone. When you stepped inside you could see the charred remains of centuries of smoke stains on the roofs of the small chambers.
When we finished circling the grounds Abdulla’s mother-in-law had a surprise for us. She painted Jennifer’s eye’s with a traditional black liner many Arabic women wear. Not one to wear make up on a trek, it was certainly a change of pace. They told her it would last four days!
We then continued on to our campsite.
It was a stone plateau in the middle of nowhere. Yousef was hard at work preparing a upside-down chicken dish called magloube. Michael F. and Andrew practiced some high flying poses that they hope to pull out in front of Petra.
Yousef kindly volunteered his house for Jennifer to shower before the big photo shoot of Petra by Night. Abdulla volunteered to carry all my photographic equipment. I was of course uncomfortable with the idea of my cameras being anywhere but on my back or in my hand, however, the energy Abdulla gave off was one of complete trust. Perhaps he thought I would have trouble carrying it in or perhaps he was just that kind of a soul, either way I gave up everything to him and went to Yousef’s house. I didn’t see much of it as I sipped tea in the living room while I waited for Jennifer as she showered. They offered me the option of showering, but I felt that would be a total cheat on the group. I drew a different line however when offered a flush toilet and sink to clean up. The living room was quite interesting. Spartan by our standards. No TV. No stereo. No video games. Instead it was a large rectangular room with plush seating all along the walls. It was designed for people to talk. What a concept!
Talking was a little difficult as there was a language barrier, but all went well. Jennifer was given a very kind gift of a Jordanian dress and we were on our way to meet the group. It was only a five minute walk to the entrance to the visitor center. We then meandered in the dark through the mile+ seik. I should have thought ahead and pulled my headlamp.
When we finally arrived, the treasury build was lit up beautifully with candles in paper bags scattered in front. Jennifer and Abdulla headed for his friend’s shop so she could change and I went to work setting up the camera gear. I popped a quick few photos and focused as best I could in the dim light. I was set.
Jennifer came out, sat down and our money shot was before us. Just as I was about to pull the trigger however a hoard of people walked in front of us. Shot ruined. Charles said he was ready to walk over and console me.
Abdulla reassured me, “Just wait.” Jennifer was worried about her “day” clothes, but Abdulla had already snuck them under the tripod for safe keeping. So we had nothing to do but wait.
When the show ended people did clear out, but not nearly enough. Abdulla sprang into action. He politely moved everyone out of the way so that Jennifer was front and center. He even managed to get a spot light to flash on the Treasury so that I could focus more accurately. Charles came over and helped me with the camera and flashes. A few minutes later we were glowing with excitement. As best we could tell from in camera, we got our money shot and we owe it all to a sweet man, born in a cave, who had a heart of gold thank you Abudlla! Thanks also to Yousef, his lovely wife, and Charles for all their help!
Click to see more of the photos from our One Dress, One Woman, One World.
We returned to our campsite and slept under the stars. No tents! Just a sleeping bag and mattress. It was heaven.
This trip was organized by Discover Jordan. We can not praise them enough. If you are considering a trip to Jordan, please reach out to them. They were wonderful to work with an exceeded all of our expecations!