Tuesday, February 19

Transjordan, Day Five: Petra

The thing about sleeping in the desert is that it's not that difficult waking up at 6:30am. Sleeping on a cold hard floor is enough to make you want to get out of bed as soon as possible, but hearing weird strange noises in the middle of the night kinda helped too. It turned out that they were made by wild cats which is fair enough I guess; I just wished my fellow travellers had answered me when I asked/screamed what the hell was going on. It really was proper Blair Witch stuff. Overall though, I'm glad we camped for the night. It was a good experience and I'd totally do it again.

After breakfast, we headed off to Petra. This was the main reason we even came to Jordan and we wanted to maximise our time there. There was a lot of walking and hiking involved; overall we spent a good five hours gasping over the Treasury, Monastery and various Royal Tombs - it was a wonderful experience to see these things live (I was humming the Indiana Jones soundtrack for most of the day). There's no point in me describing what I saw, so just make sure you check out the pics.

After we were done with Petra we begun our journey back to Amman. The bad weather was still chasing us and we were lucky to escape the area before Petra hit; roads were being closed off as we were driving and it could have been a long afternoon if we had been caught up in them. As it stood we managed to get back to Jordan's capital by around 7:30pm.

Since it was still early, a friend suggested that we checked out a local hammam. We called Pasha's, apparently Amman's best only to be told that they were fully booked for that evening. Refusing to take no for an answer and relying totally on the luck we had already received this holiday we decided to show up in person anyway - a good thing since we were able to get in after all. Well those of us with Y chromosomes anyway. We tried not to feel too bad for the ladies.

The treatment consisted of a very hot sauna (my first), a very hot jacuzzi, a full body scrub down (from which a scary amount of dirt was removed), a massage and a facial (uh, by mistake of course. Ahem). The main point for me was the massage and although I've had better (especially in Bali) it was a nice way to cap off a long and tiring day.

After our session we joined the girls in the cafe at Wild Jordan. This place is of not mainly for the views it offers - the high position and glass walls allow you to see a lot of Amman. Unfortunately it was closing up and so we moved to another recommendation amusingly called Books@cafe. This was a much trendier place, reasonably priced and more studenty than Wild Jordan and we ended up staying there till closing again just chilling, dossing and watching the world go by.

Excellent stuff, and a perfect end to our time in Jordan. Today was definitely the best of a brilliant past couple of days; I've had a wonderful time in Jordan and am regretful that we're going to leave tomorrow - I guess that just means that I have to come back, possibly along with my own Jordanian contacts.

For now we needed to hit the sack and get some rest for our return to Jerusalem.