It turns out the cloudy night in Wadi Rum did us a favor – we got to know our neighbors. They, too, were headed back to Petra that next morning, but unlike us, simple busers, they had rented a car. And, luckily for us, we had left our suitcases behind at our hotel in Petra, so we were able to hop in their backseat and catch a free ride.
Both born and raised Aussies, they now live in Hong Kong. They had just arrived in Jordan from Israel and would be moving on to Lebanon next. Needless to say, we had plenty to talk about.
Also, she writes for and edits a webzine, Iris Lillian, and it was fun talking to a fellow blogger – one who does this on a much bigger scale than myself. A majority of the articles are for women, about women, and by women – who work and reside in professional spheres.
Yet another bonus, this was the least carsick I got in Jordan!
Before we knew it, we were back in Wadi Musa and ready for our final day at Petra.
Our previous Petra hikes had started shortly after dawn or hours after sunset. Making me glad I had brought a hat to keep my ears warm : )
But today we arrived at the entrance shortly before noon, happily enjoying the warmth of the winter sun.
We had debated, briefly, about what exactly we wanted from this hike. Did we want another adventure – we hadn’t made it to the High Place of Sacrifice (a supposed “hard” level of intensity – though they had said the same of the Al-Khubtha Trail, as well as the Ad-Deir (Monastery) Trail), 5.5 kilometers, round-trip.
But after wandering through Wadi Rum the day before, a 14-kilometer walk the day before that, preceded by a late Christmas night…we were ready to take it easy.
Plus, we had never planned on taking the High Place of Sacrifice hike. We’d had no idea that we could get so much walking in on our main Petra day. We’d assumed we’d have to break up our views of the Treasury, the Royal tombs, our hike to the Treasury look-out spot, the Colonnaded Street, and getting to the Monastery. Only, we didn’t. We had done it all in one day.
And if we were being honest with ourselves. We didn’t really want another long hike. But, I had fallen in love with the Siq, the main entrance path to Petra. I loved the natural rock, as well as what was sculpted by the Nabataeans. It reaches up to 80 meters in height and is only 1.2 kilometers long.
So, instead of a hike, we decided on one final stroll through the Siq.
We had never been there at noon and the colors hitting the sandstone were startling. It turned out we hadn’t seen all that needed to be seen there.
We made our way to the Treasury, said our final goodbye, and walked back the way we had come. We were content with everything we had seen in Petra.
The next day we allowed ourselves a lazy start. Our only destination was the Mövenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea.
We had, unfortunately, already booked the same driver who had taken us from Amman to Petra and he had somehow gotten worse. The King’s Highway may be the most scenic road in Jordan, but it’s difficult to enjoy it when you’re trying not to vomit.
We got to the Mövenpick shortly after lunch and marvelled at what appeared to be a small village, not just a resort. We made the trip between the sea and our villa-like room numerous times (I needed to take photos, we were ready for our swim, then it was pool time, ok now can we eat Italian food?) and it was exhausting.
I will say, I was disappointed that the Mövenpick didn’t have a beach on the Dead Sea. Chandler claims he told me that, but I had known, I definitely would have coughed up the extra $100 USD/night to stay at the nearby Kempinski.
Graceful person that I am, less than 30 seconds in the water and I had cut my big toe open. It was starting to look like a scene from Jaws. I ignored it for a while, because it was amazing to be able to do my sukhasana yoga pose floating upright in the water, but far sooner than I would have liked, I had to call it quits. And then walk what seemed like miles back to our room to get a bandaid.
But I can’t deny that our time in the Dead Sea was incredible, and the views of the water, even on our overcast day, were beautiful:
And not everyone can say that they’ve been to the lowest point on earth.
Now, the Italian food was disappointingly bad, and the wine had to be sent back – which says something, because I drank Gouder in Ethiopia.
That said, it was a relaxing way to spend our last day in Jordan. A country where we had spent an absurd amount of money, seen one of the “new seven wonders of the world,” camped in the desert, and floated in the Dead Sea.
We were definitely ready for the affordability of Cairo and a chance to see the only original “seven wonders of the world” still around: The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt.