Last year I would have said that there was nowhere else in the world that I really wanted to travel to. I would have half-heartedly mentioned something about Florence. But I was pretty much content in my little cocoon, it was cosy in there and when you can get Netflix why would you want to leave? (Frank Underwood is my new hero! Yes Frank, democracy IS overrated)
But on a tour bus travelling through Jordan (if you told me a year ago I would be in Jordan, I would have unfriended you from Facebook because you obviously don’t know the first thing about me) an old dream, long since buried, start coming back to me. I’m going to Petra, I’ve always wanted to go to Petra!
Ever since Indiana Jones snaked his way through the tiny canyon path on his search for the holy grail and arrived at this magnificent red building carved out of rock, I’ve wanted to go.
So my 1989 self was more than a little excited that I was going to be doing the same. But first we had to stop in Jarash for an amazing lunch (I’ve found my appetite) and a tour around one of the Roman’s Decapolis cities. I don’t think I ever studied the Romans and I have to say I’m very impressed by them – apart from the slavery and the killing people as entertainment. Jarash was completely buried under sand after an earthquake and is being lovely put back together by people who probably wish they were as cool as Indiana Jones.
Next stop on our road to Petra was Amman. We visited the Citadel and I honestly can’t remember anything about it – it was a long drive. All I remember is Amman is massive and there is not one square inch of space that is not built upon.
Our road took us through the wealthier part of Amman and past the fanciest Starbucks I’ve ever seen. The sun was starting to go down and our tour guide kept us up to date with the World Cup scores – football is the universal language after all, even the Americans are starting to join the party.
I’m glad we arrived in pitch black to the Bedouin camp at Petra as I didn’t want to see how close we were to plummeting down a sheer drop. We arrived to a fantastic meal, sweet sage tea around a campfire and a chance to marvel at the stars. The stars being suitably uncooperative and not wanting their picture taken, no matter how hard the Lithuanian group tried.
The rocks surrounding the camping were also lit up with tiny lights. This was no ordinary camp. It had bathrooms with showers (nicer than the hostel’s), proper beds in canvas huts and WiFi!! This is what it looked like come morning.
After more amazing food we headed to Petra. I declined the offer of the horse ride, I might need it on the way back (I had no attention of getting on a horse. I would rather crawl back) and walked with the group on the paved path through the rocks. I’m sure Indie went through sand. After maybe 30 minutes and with the Indiana Jones theme tune (it could have been Superman, they are very similar) getting louder in my head we finally emerged at the Treasury.
The majority of what has remained well in tact in Petra are the tombs. You’re dead longer than you are alive I guess, was the response I got to that observation – uplifting thought!
I wanted to do this trip because I wanted to have new experiences. I didn’t expect that this trip would lead me to old places. I feel a bit like Jarash that a lot of my dreams have got buried, but they are starting to be lovingly uncovered.
Anyone fancy a trip to Buenos Aires?