Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Petra part 5 - Petra by night, THE END

We made our way out of Petra, having spent almost 7 hours on foot and riding various animals through the mountains and desert. The sites, although sandy and super dry, were nice and often spectacular. Next was dinner and to make our way back to the entrance of Petra to walk the Siq in the dark.The Siq was lit by candles burning inside sandwich bags with sand in the bottom. These made for nice lighting and the mood in the Siq was peaceful, even with some 300-400 fellow travellers sharing the way.The stars were probably the most amazing part of the night. With very few cities and city lights to drown out the night sky, the heavens opened up and little dots you've never seen before broke through the pitch black. The stars literally lit up the night sky. Looking up past the high walls of the Siq, the sky constantly changed shape, every step we took, as the walls jutted in and out and the small sliver of sky that we could see shrunk and grew.We made it to the Treasury, Al Khazneh, where there were a couple hundred candles lit. We sat on mats in a circle and drank tea. We sat and waited wondering if there was a show or something. They herded many more people into the area and then a man came out playing a Bedouin stringed instrument, that he claimed was the first instrument in the history of man. The name of the instrument escapes me. IT was a lovely sound, but got more amazing when the guy began to sing an Arabic song. True Arabian night. Before he started singing, there were whispers among the crowd. When he began his song, the people fell silent, listening, taking in the song, the playing of his instrument, the stars above, the darkness. It was beautiful.The singing man was followed by a flutist and a man who told the story of Petra. It was a great experience and one that, although we couldn't take many photos (battery died and too dark), we snapped photos in our hearts and minds to record the moment. Here are some of the pictures we were able to get. One of the Treasury pictures is from iPhone and the other is also in teh dark but with the regular digital camera, pitch black, glad they came out!

It was great to see Petra both by day and by night, two different experiences. Like when we went with family to the Amphawa Floating Market and did the river ride in day and at night. Our next challenge was to get home. The last bus leaves Petra at 5 PM so that was why we needed a hotel. We finished our Petra by Night walk around 11PM...11 hours out and about and Pae was dying. She actually told me not to forget to mention in the blog how she was beat, worn out and dying every step of the way back to the hotel through the Siq. You know how they show the man lost in the desert scene in the movies? He's hunched over, about to fall down, struggling for every step, he looks up and all there is in front of him is more sand and heat? That was Pae!! I think each and every step for her was torturous and miserable, but she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.The next morning we checked out late, ate and began to wait until the 5PM bus back to Amman. the 4 hour wait didn't sound fun as there is nothing else to do in the area other than Petra. We sat at a restaurant and the Thai Ambassador to Jordan walked in. Long story short, we talked to one of his drivers, a tour guide/driver, and he told us he would make some calls to his friends to see if any of them were leaving to Amman sooner.We got to Amman about 5:30...Our normal bus would have arrived at nearly 9PM, so our new friend got us home really quickly and for only a little bit more than our bus tickets would have cost us. He was very proud that his name appears in several guidebooks as well as Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. He was funny.He actually made us take these last few photos and even instructed us how to pose and why we were posing in such a manner, haha. "The first one, you will pose like this, you, point that way, you see the sign? You are going to Petra" then, "Now you want to go home but you have no transportation, you need a ride." Good guy.Overall, we had a great experience and are looking forward to many more. Petra was beautiful although rugged, baron and dry, but hey, this is the desert.

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

WOW!!!! Absolutely beautiful story and pictures. I must say, however, I am exausted just reading about the climbing up and down along with all the walking. I think I feel Pae's pain. Still it sounds like you both are enjoying the land and one another's company. Love always, Auntie PS I still can't get over the lamb balls. Can't believe people really eat them. Yuk

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