The wonder of Petra and the price of water

Petra Travel Blog

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The entrance to Petra

Before I came to Petra I was told it would be an amazing sight but to go there as early as possible because of the heat. Furthermore I had heard everyone going there would come back broken because of hiking all day in the heat and the sun burning down from the sky.

 

I got to Petra early and met a guide who took the group into Petra we walk through the narrow passage way that leads into Petra seeing the colours of the town and the way they had managed to supply the city with water through a pipe that actually managed to clean the water automatically. Then passing down the narrow gorge we finally come to the end of it - and there is the opening. Suddenly there it is the most famous of all the structures cut out of the cliff in Petra - the Treasury know from Indiana Jones were he is standing right down below it.

The remains of a camel on top of the watersupply system to Petra which wored at automatic purification taking away the dirt.

 

The building is nice but looking inside is kind of a disappointment - there is nothing there a big empty room - no treasure no holy grail no nothing.

 

The tour continues down to the main area of Petra telling stuff about the different tomb that I have long forgotten again. After getting to the main area of Petra it is time to explore on your own or in a small group.

 

I join in with a small group of fellow mad hikers deciding it will be cool to go up hill to the sacred places - or something like that. It is a place only a few of the visitors to Petra actually goes so even though the main parts of Petra were swarming with people up here nobody else were around.

The first glimse of the Treasury so wellknow from Indianna Jones
Probably because everybody else had more sense. Going hiking uphill for 1-1½ hours in the heat may not be advisable but you got do it anyway. We went up and up on the top was a splendid view out over the main areas of Petra. It was worth the hike. From the viewpoint at the top it was time to head downhill - there would be two options going down the same way we came or trying to make it down on the other side of the hill on a unmarked trail and using a doggy map in a waterless dessert area with the sun frying everything. The choice was obvious - we had to make it down the other side of the hill.

 

We walk around for a bit and then found the right trail in the end - it was actually a fairly easy trail downhill when we found it. Walk down it was getting close to noon - we had been up and around for 4-5 hours - lunchtime in one of the small restaurant on the place. We manage to convince them we needed a discount and then we went to eat.

The Treasury
Considering the place it was actually a pretty good meal - all you could eat buffet with lots of stuff to choose from.

 

After lunch it is in the middle of the day around 1 - the sun is more or less straight above our heads. And we decide that now would be a good time to go up and see one of the main attractions of Petra the Monastery. It is conveniently located up a hill were there is virtually no shadows when you walk up it at 1-2 o'clock. We walk up there and it is hot - actually hot dont really describe the feeling I got but is the closest I can get. We get to the top and it is impressive well worth the hike up there.

 

One bloke I walk up there with ran out of water on the way - I mean he was only carrying a measly 3 litres for the entire day - not like me coming prepared with 4 litres of water.

Top of the Treasury
He had to buy a new bottle luckily there is a shop right at the top with the Monastery. He walks up to the shop owner and ask for a bottle of water - he is told 3 Jordanian Dinars - 4 US$. And the price is non-negotiable it seems the shop owner knows if you wanna buy his water it is because you have to and he can charge you anything he wants. Hence 3 dinars later and a bottle of water we settle down in the shop area to cool down a bit in the shade. After an hour or so it is time to head down - now the trail is in the shade - great we should have waited until now to get up to the monastery.

 

We head towards the main part of Petra and have a look around that area going up to a couple more tombs to have a look - they are nice though not quite as impressive as the treasury and the monastery. We start heading out on the way you pass by the treasury and now it looks different with the sunlight coming from the opposite direction.

The monestary straight ahead
Then out through the narrow gorge leading in and we are out of Petra at 5 in the evening - I manage to get through the rest of my four litres of water and I am still thirsty.

 

Getting a ride back to the hotel to restock on water and drink some more of the stuff. I am well spent but I got through the day unbroken contrary to the predictions. But I did set a new personal record for drinking the most water in one single day.

tj1777 says:
nope you can just wonder around the place on your own. Just remember it is an huge area so bring plenty of water - especially if you go in July. It can be a tad hot.
Posted on: Nov 10, 2009
hlek says:
tj...is it possible to go into petra without a guide?? will there be an issue wandering around?
Posted on: Nov 02, 2009
Sunflower300 says:
Such a stunning place, I can't wait to visit.
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
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The entrance to Petra
The entrance to Petra
The remains of a camel on top of t…
The remains of a camel on top of …
The first glimse of the Treasury s…
The first glimse of the Treasury …
The Treasury
The Treasury
Top of the Treasury
Top of the Treasury
The monestary straight ahead
The monestary straight ahead
Still at the entrance and the narr…
Still at the entrance and the nar…
Bottom of the Treasury - there is …
Bottom of the Treasury - there is…
The Monestary at Petra - uphill in…
The Monestary at Petra - uphill i…
View from high places
View from high places
One of the many Tombs
One of the many Tombs
The treasury
The treasury
Petra
photo by: vances