Petra & Little Petra

It’s probably my last time visiting Petra. It’s not just because this may be the last year we dig at Umayri in Jordan, but also, after three times visiting Petra, I’ve pretty much seen everything I wanted to see.

This leads to an interesting dynamic with my SLR. It largely spent the weekend in my backpack. My iPhone was where it was at. I had photographed all these monuments before with various cameras and I have so many photos of Petra.

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Of course, it wasn’t just about the pictures, it’s about Petra being damaged by the constant onslaught of tourists. Tourists who are too lazy to walk up the stairs to the Monastery on their own power, so they hire donkeys that are slowly destroying everything. I can understand if you’re handicapped or enfeebled from age, but beyond that, you should walk it.

It was nice to see Petra again, though. It never ceases to be drop-dead gorgeous. And it was absolutely brilliant to hold Stephen’s hand while he walked through the Siq and saw the Treasury for the first time. There is no place like it and even though I’m thinking about doing something else that weekend on my next trip to Jordan, no archaeological site will hold more love or wonder for me.

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We started the morning by hiking up to an overlook of the Treasury. It was a long way up with lots of stairs, but the view was incredible. Looking down on all the people and seeing the gorgeous rock-cut tomb below was amazing. I climbed down the rock-face a bit to get a better view and it was so worth the fear of heights.

After cooling down and resting up, we continued our trek clear across Petra to hike up to the Monastery. When we got to the top, I bought a huge ring and had a lemonade with mint. And with that, I’ve seen and done everything I ever wanted to do in Petra.

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Except for Little Petra.

This year, the Department of Antiquities limited the number of days we could spend in Petra to just one. To make up for losing a second day in gorgeous Petra, Doug offered to take us over to Little Petra, another rock-cut site about ten minutes away from Petra. It was a beautiful little place, no tourists to speak of and lots of things to climb on and explore. If you’re ever out this way, it is something not to miss.

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Now, it’s time to recover from sunburns and considerably sore muscles earned from long hours in the sun and steep treks up many, many, many, many stairs.

My butt looks faaaaaaabulous.

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