Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Grand World Voyage, Day 183, Al Aqabah, Jordan (Part 1 of 2)

Our group of 12 left the ship just after arrival in Al’Aqabah, Jordan, met our Guide Mohamed and headed for an overnight stay in Petra.  60 kilometres north of Aqaba, our first stop was Wadi Rum where we picked up 4x4 vehicles for our drive through the desert.  Wadi Rum is a protected desert wilderness that features dramatic sandstone mountains, sand dunes, lunar like landscape and crevice riddled cliffs.  I could not pass up a camel ride through the desert...the dismount played havoc on my groin muscle which is a problem I will have to deal with in the weeks ahead…..  Wadi Rum is also known as the Valley of the Moon...the perfect setting for the filming of the movie; The Martian and Lawrence of Arabia.  We stopped for an Arabic lunch at a Bedouin camp.  Of course, I ran into a table and now have a three corner tear on my leg…. Not a good day for injuries!  After exploring Wadi Rum, we made our way to Petra and a ten-minute drive north brought us to Siq Al-Barid, which is also referred to as 'Little Petra' due to similarities with the Petra site. It is thought to have been an important suburb of Petra and is entered through a narrow opening, similar to Siq but of a much smaller scale. The site includes tombs, temples, water channels and cisterns carved out of the rock as well as the remains of frescoes on plaster.  The road to Little Petra gives a great view of Petra and a breathtaking sweep over the central valley of the ancient city. We had a great day, a little shopping, and early night.  Ann, Ellie, Gyl and I will be leaving to start our Petra climb at sunrise.  The remainder of the group will spend the day touring Petra.  This is part 1 of a 2 part blog.



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