We had heard so much about Petra and Wadi Rum (Think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Laurence of Arabia.) that we just had to go. This is Jordan. Many people cross the border on their own but we chose the only tour of our three-week trip to Israel and it was well worth the enormously expensive experience. You can go much cheaper but my suggestion would be to save up because this was a once in a lifetime experience.
We got picked up by Eco Tours in an open jeep. There were 6 other people in it. We were taken to the Rabin Border crossing where our paperwork was taken care of for us. We then walked 100 yards to the Jordanian border where we were welcomed by Jordanian Experience. They are the company that Eco Tours uses in Petra. Ali was our guide and took care of everything.
Ali talked a great bit on the drive to Petra. We arrived in Petra at about 11:00a.m. and walked with Ali through Petra while he explained what we were seeing. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. You’ll read a lot about the “siq,” which is the narrow passage that leads to Petra. In spite of Ali giving us a tour it took awhile to realize that this enormous area of ancient, elaborate, and intricately done architecture were tombs. Included in the tour was a buffet lunch ala flies, a bottle of water, and a t-shirt. You will have an option of making this a one-day trip just to Petra or a two-day trip and stay overnight like we did (read on) or in a hotel. After lunch the one-day group left us and we made our way through Petra. You’ll have the opportunity to ride a donkey up to the famous “treasury,” ride a camel, or horse. It was a long, hot walk back so we chose to take a buggy ride to the town of Petra.
We reclaimed our baggage at the office of Jordan Experience and were taken to a Bedouin camp whose name was Amarin. This was something we wanted to do and hoped it wasn’t just a tourist trap. We slept in an authentic Bedouin tent. We got delicious tea, a clean “room” and modern bathroom facilities. The mattresses were on the floor, we had “hard as a rock” pillows but we slept like a rock after meeting the three Bedouins who were sort of our hosts. I think they just come to give the camp more authenticity.
We had a nice dinner and woke to a breakfast of yogurt, hummus, hardboiled eggs, juice, and tea. We were then picked up by the best guide in Jordan – another Ali. (At least we didn’t think there could be a better guide.) We were taken in a 4-wheel drive van (You might go in a jeep.) to the most incredible place in the world – Wadi Rum. It is a 30 mile by 10 mile reservation of mountains and desert – truly hard to explain. If you’ve been to Sedona, AZ think Sedona but better. It was truly an amazing experience. I hope my pictures tell some of the story.
Eventually after seeing various areas such as where Lawrence of Arabia passed through, we went to a secluded area (In high tourist time it isn’t secluded and 3 jeeps were coming as we were leaving) and Ali parked us in the shade with a huge mat where after taking a short walk we took a nap while he cooked us an amazing meal – chicken, salads, tea, yogurt and hummus.
Then it was time to leave but we had ½ an hour in Aqaba to do some shopping. We were taken back to the border, back into Israel and back to the Kibbutz where we would spend one more night. 5+++ stars