Saturday, February 4, 2012

A four-hour hike

On November 11th, we left the hotel on foot about 7:15 am, walked to the Petra site, and then walked for another four hours, arriving at the far end of Petra around 11 am.  The walk to "The Treasury" itself took about 1 1/2 hours and that is really just the beginning.

First glimpse of the Treasury

Can you visualize Indiana Jones walking out the door as he did in the Last Crusade?
Close up of Treasury Building

Gift shop and coffee shop at the foot of the Treasury Building

Camel rides available for tourists

Last stop before lunch was a visit to the church which Rob had helped excavate.  The floor is covered with mosaics, one of which looks like a spotted camel.  The artist, never having seen a giraffe, rendered a camel with spots since the Greek word for giraffe is literally "spotted camel."
Mosaic floor of the church showing spotted camel (giraffe)

Close up of several mosaics

Description at museum about Petra Church project

Mention of Rob's contributions to Petra Church Project
We had lunch at the buffet, and made friends with a kittie who waited patiently beside our table for tidbits which Renee offerred.

Kittie sitting in planter box beside our table, patiently waiting for handouts
Then I "pooped out" and sat and rested on the restaurant patio while the rest of the group took the 2-hour walk to and from the monastery (straight up and down hill).

The four-hour walk in to Petra was all downhill, which meant that the walk out was all up hill.  No way was I going to make it!  Of course, there are Bedouins throughout the site who offer donkey and camel rides; I was not the only person needing a lift out.  I opted for the donkey ride, figuring it looked safer since I would be closer to the ground.  It was still quite frightening as the donkeys walk on the very edge of the road, and I kept visualizing falling off the edge of a very steep drop. I'd have been better off just to close my eyes, I think.
Here I am leaving on the donkey with Mohammed and his two kids
Back at the hotel, we had dinner at a local restaurant and did a bit of souvenir shopping.  I bought a refrigerator magnet of Petra, and some stuffed camels on a string, plus some very nice earrings.

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