One of the highlights for me while traveling through Egypt and Jordan with GAP Adventures in 2009, was sleeping in the desert with the Bedouin people. Upon arrival to the camping area in the desert, we dropped our gear and made our way to the main dining tent for dinner.
We shared the tent with a group of Dutch people on pilgrimage. They were the subdued, quiet ones on the other side. We were the loud, fun-loving group on our side. I actually spoke to one of the women to try to get the groups to mingle, but to no avail. After a delicious meal, a few traditionally dressed Arab musicians entered the tent and one of the men began dancing and beckoned us to join him. Feeling like a gypsy, I rose and began dancing, feeling breathless, having been seduced by the aromatic incense wafting through the air combined with the rhythmic melody. Others began to join us and soon we had a party going! I was having such a good time…I didn’t get any photos! (the above photos I found online…but they are of the same or very similar camping spot)
The following day we took a jeep ride through the desert and I asked if I could drive. The Bedouin driver “Mohammad” agreed to allow me and kept telling me what a good driver I was as I careened over sand dunes. I wonder if the 4 passengers sitting in the open bed of the truck felt the same way after being jostled and bounced around…possibly fearing for their lives!
I love this photo I took of the “Siq”, which is the mile long walk before arriving to the area called Petra, where all of the carved buildings are. You are surrounded by towering walls of stone on either side as you walk.
We hiked for two days throughout Petra…it was amazing! Walking to the main entrance of Petra, I met a couple of 25ish men. I discovered that one of them made his living taking people for rides within Petra on a donkey. After a few minutes, he began flirting with me and wanted to take me to his “cave” on a date. I told him I was married…but that didn’t faze him. Throughout the day, I would see him and he would wave.
He gave me the tip of walking down a few steps for the photo shown below…so you don’t see the throngs of people! These buildings carved into stone were simply unbelievably beautiful! They were massive!
The Treasury, Petra, Jordan…(Raiders of the Lost Ark filmed here)
A fellow traveler took this photo of me carefully crossing a very narrow ledge while hiking in Petra…whew!
Beautiful Children of Jordan
Children have such an exuberance for life…an openness…that I wish more adults could keep!
Another unique experience we had was going to a Turkish bath while in Jordan. The steam room resembled a cave and we were instructed to sit in the steam for 20 minutes…to then exit and be doused with cold water by a squat, muscled man in swim trunks…repeating this process three times…then to lay on a cold marble slab while he scrubs you with a mitt (ouch…that hurt)…pours cool water on you…slathers oil all over…massages roughly for five minutes and you’re done!!
Here is a group shot of us at the “Dead Sea“…the mud from the sea detoxifies your skin and makes it baby soft! And you really do float in the Dead Sea!
I hope you enjoyed the trip!
- Daily Daydream: Petra, Jordan (daydreamsandshoestrings.wordpress.com)
- Arabian delight: Step into Petra’s past and discover a rose-red city half as old as time (mirror.co.uk)
- Research unearths terrace farming at ancient desert city of Petra (phys.org)
- Exploring Petra: The mountainous Monastery (ontheluce.com)
- Terrace Farming at Petra! (rogueclassicism.com)
- The Lost City of Petra (renainthesun.wordpress.com)
- Getting to know Jordan’s Bedouins (travelwithkat.com)
- Ancient Traces of Terrace Farming Found Near Petra (livescience.com)