Petra – I guess most of us have seen famous Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. The most famous action of the movie was taken in that site. No wonder that Hollywood had chosen Petra as this is amazing place. Almost as spectacular as the monuments themselves are the countless shades and Neapolitan swirls formed in the rock. Petra is often called the “Rose-red City”, but even this hardly justice to the extraordinary range of colors that blend as the sun makes its daily passage over the site (Lonely Planet, 2009).
Petra is very vast, therefore exploring everything in one day is rather impossible. Unfortunately, every year entrance fee is rising up. Taking into consideration, the size of Petra we decided to take 2 days’ entrance ticket. 1 day ticket – 50 JD/person, 2 days ticket – 55 JD/person (78 USD). It was freaking expensive, but when we thought of it – being in Jordan without seeing Petra was like being in Italy without trying a pizza or ice-cream!
As I mentioned before, when we were in Jordan it was really hot. We barely managed to walk around the site. Even though July is not the touristiest time in the country, Petra was still crowded. The famous Al-Khazneh (Treasury), which emerges from the canyon, looked amazing. We were also expecting that, the interior of the monument would be beautiful, but we got disappointed – “the inside” was empty and additionally closed. In order to visit the second main attraction called Ad Deir, we needed some help as we couldn’t struggle with the heat. We rode on donkeys as we were not able walk up another 800 stars cut into the rock. To be honest we still feel very bad that we used those poor animals, but we left water and food for them. In the afternoon we felt soooo tired that, after small lunch (cous cous with tuna) instead of exploring we just found a nice, desolated place and we had a nap on the rocks! When we walked up, we noticed that there were no people around and it was about time to come back. We also discovered that we were running out of water (8 liters of water we took was not enough) We wanted to buy some, but on the top (around Monastery) they wanted 2 UDS for a liter of water. They explained tha,t they need to transport everything on their backs or on donkeys every day. We decided to buy something later. Going downstairs we met a nice guy, who was caring lots of water cases on a donkey and himself. He asked if we wanted to buy some water and we said that of course, but we didn’t have money. He just smiled and totally surprised us giving us two bottles of water for free (1). It was sooo great of him! When we were coming back there were no tourists at all. Even the fact that the Sun was coming down we were able to take some nice shots of beautiful sites of Petra without people.
In case of accommodation – there are no campsites around and hotels or guesthouses are very expensive – we spent 2 nights in our Rusty, sleeping on the secured parking space for little money, but to be honest we didn’t need more 🙂
Next day, in the morning we decided to skip Petra – yes, we pad for 2 days, but to us it was impossible to do the same walk as the day before. Instead of doing that we went to see Small Petra, which is totally for free and much smaller. We have heard that sometimes when you take a guide you can get to the proper Petra (after 6 hours walk) without a ticket, but we never checked that! We did like an hour walk, which ended with a cup of tea offered by local people.