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Jennys Jordan Tour – the City of Petra

Our tour leader Jenny, searches for the Pullman scroll in the rock-hewn city of Petra!

the Siq and Treasury at Petra, JordanPetra

I wait in eager anticipation for our Petra tour to begin, we opt for an early start to try and beat the crowds.  Entry includes a short horse ride from the main gate to the beginning of the Siq, about 800metres.  The horses amble along at walking pace, lead by a Bedouin handler.  Ibrahim, our guide, is a wealth of knowledge and stops at each point of interest to provide us with a walking commentary. He stays with us until the Roman Colonnade, pointing us in the direction of the Monastery if we choose to go there.  The rest of the day is free for us to explore.  I am on a mission to find a note Nancy, my Mum, put under a rock in a cave up the valley left of the Cathedral.  Steve, my brother found it 6 months later, but after 2 hours of searching, looking in every cave and under every rock I was unsuccessful.  The Pullman ‘scroll’ remains hidden and may never be found again….. (I have since discovered my search was in vain as the note was left in a cave to the left of the Monastery, I am now keen to get back there and have another look).

Camels outside The Treasury in Petra

I return to town about 4.30pm and stop at the antique store below the hotel for a look.  It is very interesting holding many treasures including frankincense and myrrh, rugs made locally, jewellery, amber, jade and silver.  I meet the caretaker of the Bedouin museum located upstairs and he offers me a tour.  The museum covers the history of the Bedouin people, how they live, grind wheat, harvest crops and make Bedouin tents from woven wool from sheep, goats or camels hair.  A display also shows houses constructed from thick mud walls and ceiling, cool in summer and warm in winter.  Tools, knives and ancient guns are on display.  Traditional food called mansaf, which is seasoned lamb or chicken cooked in a large pot with yoghurt over an open fire, and served with huge amounts of rice on a large platter for all to share.  Coffee is also an important part of Bedouin life, ground coffee beans from Turkey or Brazil brewed and drunk black in small cups.

Sign post to the Dead Sea on Oasis Overland Jordan tourTo the Dead Sea

Another early start with our departure set for 7.30am.  I head to breakfast and pull back the thick curtain to reveal an overcast, rain heavy sky, puddles from late overnight rain dot the roadside below.  After yesterday’s glorious clear blue skies it is quite a contrast.  Our 4 hour journey to the Dead Sea takes us across desert plains, hard to see through my misty window, the heater in the bus isolating us from the cold outside. As we weave our way to the valley floor we catch glimpses of golden hills, sprinkled with patches of green from agriculture in the Jordan Valley, and finally the Dead Sea at 423m below sea level.  As we descend into the Jordan Rift Valley we are greeted with blue sky and fluffy white clouds.  The Jordan Valley is the bread basket of Jordan providing fresh fruit and vegetables for the whole country.

We drive past Amman airport, turn right onto King Hussein Hwy linking us to Jerusalem and finally arrive at the Dead Sea.

Next on Jenny’s Jordan Tour… Dead Sea mud and Madaba’s maps!

Read Jenny’s previous entry – Journey to Petra

Jenny travelled to Jordan as part of our 14 day or 18 day Egypt & Jordan Explorer

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