Hello again and this time from amman in ...
Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
74Trip End Sep 11, 2007
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Where I stayed
Moon Valley Hotel
As the first 3 months of my trip come to a close, it would be an opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights that have occurred but instead I am going to tell you (and most likely bore you) of an adventure gripped with excitement and terror.... So take a seat or get a coffee and relax or just click the X in the corner if you are already bored of me shitting on....
As I mentioned last time I had hooked up with an UK couple (Catherine and David) and a Dutch lady (Sandra). After a day of exploring Petra from the Treasury to the Monastery, then finally back to the amphitheater our plans for the next day was to try and sleep over night within the boundaries of Petra City - none told us it was illegal and none of us had a guidebook (excuse #123).
So after a leisurely sleep in and a late breakfast from our new best friend from the Moon Valley Hotel (Emile) we headed off to Petra City again, this time with warm gear and sleeping bags in our day packs. Arriving at the Treasury time after time - still makes it incredible to look at! With a few words and a wink of the eye, we leave our sleeping gear with the local teashop. Off to explore Petra's amazing sites, which meant we sat on our arses at the amphitheater and slept the day away. Not very exciting but waking up in a dozy sleep to look across 3000 year old buildings and tombs is not a bad way to spend the day.
As the day ends, I decided to head out of Petra (including the 40 min hike) and grab a quick bite to eat. As I arrive back I find my new found friends including a new one that they bumped into dancing around Bedouin people and the Treasury to Tom Jones - don't ask! After a bit of Chi (tea) we talked to the locals who tell us the best spot to sleep the night we will be on the mountain top on our rights.... We look up to see we have to scale about 50 metres of what looks like loose rocks to gain our sleeping and viewing advantage point.... Without question we grab our gear and some blankets and we are off. Rock climbing safety gear would have been very handy at this point and with the only causality being a Mark's sandal we all make it safely....
To say the advantage point was amazing would be an understatement, with all of us (minus Sandra???) at the same height as the Treasury - WOW!! After some more trekking and free climbing we come to a secluded spot to sit and bath in the sunset that falls of Petra!!! Sounds of Silence....
As dusk settles we collect some dead wood for our fire and sit around and talk about everything needs to talk about at the top of Petra...as for food we shared another tub of pasta with a plastic knife and our right hands.
If you could plan this night you would ask for a full moon and guess what - it was as full as you could get and as it rose from the East and over the surrounding mountains and cliff faces - it sprayed a beautiful pale blue colour across our camp and of course across the Treasury!!! WOW WOW WOW!!
So after an incredible night of views we retire to bed - bed is a rock with more stones underneath than whatever has stones underneath it. Now this story sounds all nice and normal - well I did mention terror didn't I... the following I cannot remember everything as I was very dazed and confused...
At approx. 12:30am - our camp was raided - at first I thought the worst thing in the world MORE TOURISTS. But I was wrong, it turned out to be local guides working for the police. Now you have to imagine a group of us just being woken up in the middle of the night, by fluorescent lights and lighters stuck in our faces.... So after some harsh words we were told that they were looking for a Dutch Woman (Sandra) and had stumbled across us. They were quite aggressive to begin with and I thought - oh oh we are in trouble here. From changing their stories to looking for us, to looking for one lady only and telling us horror stories of people falling off cliffs and being bitten by scorpions - they accept our statement of "There is not a chance you are getting us to hike down in the middle of the night". With a few passport details changed and as I whip out the magic packet of cigarettes to make the peace they leave with the agreement of "We did not see you, you did not see us" - they leave us be. Very interesting night.
The funniest thing is that while they were talking to us they were calling their dog. Now I mentioned that this dog would be a massive German shepherd that loves the taste of tourists, but after they left, round the corner appeared their dog Lucy - a little Terrier thing. Lucy and I hit off straight away, well with the setting and all that, who could not make a woman feel comfortable. We shared water and she lay at the head of my sleeping bag all night. As I awoke the next morning Lucy was gone, no number not even a kiss goodbye.... What is a man to do!!! Mind you the sleeping on a rock thing - not recommended more than 1 night in a row as you can do some really back and hip damage!
As we hike down in the morning and return the blankets and talk with the shop owners about our experience (and that we did not dob them in), we share some chi and watch the sunlight spray against the Treasury for the last time - we head out and onto our next adventure. Oh by the way, we found Sandra next morning, she was sleeping in a different area and never got caught.... Hmmmm!
All in all the night was an absolute blast and a memory that will last for ever - the scene was right and the stars were out in all glory.... It was written like a script - perhaps a script for a new Indiana Jones movie.... Yes I have found my new call in life!!! Hollywood watch out!
Breakfast and showers and the Petra adventure comes to an end. Wadi Rum here I come!
"Live life like a human being, not like a human doing"