A four-day Eid weekend took us south to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba and the Red Sea, with a fair amount of off-roading along the way.
Layth took us on the scenic route to Petra, via a turn-off south of the Dead Sea – and luckily we we were in the trusty Feroza, and luckily Layth knows these roads really well. We passed quite a few “road closed” signs, but pressed on as it wasn’t physically blocked, and it was actually paved for the first part – I guess this road was pretty much unpaved until quite recently. But we came to the unpaved part, and going up the steep switchbacks made for some stunning views of the valley as we made our way to Petra.
This was my second visit to Petra – despite five years of living in/visiting Jordan, I only went for the first time a few months ago (I’m clearly Jordan’s worst resident) – and this time I appreciated it more. We started our hike around 3 pm, after the heat had peaked and as most people were finishing their hikes. We only spent an hour or two in the heat and made it to the Monastery at the end just as the sun was setting.
Lyndon was such a good hiker, and he was the only one who wanted to walk with me all the way to the lookout at the end.
We had planned to see Petra at night, since they were doing the candlelight show the day we were there. Since we started walking back around dusk, we made it back to the Treasury just as people were arriving for this tour, and promptly were berated by Jordan’s finest tourism welcome party for being there without a separate ticket. (We had planned to buy separate tickets to see this but were put off after that encounter). But we did still get the experience of seeing it lit up at night and walking mostly alone through the Siq, also lit by candles, which was nice.
Then we headed to Wadi Rum for some sand dune driving. As you can see, Lyndon was smiling the whole way (even when we briefly had to dig the car out of the sand).
And then we had a beach/pool day in Tala Bay outside of Aqaba.
And we stopped at the nut shop in Aqaba to get the obligatory roasted nut supplies.
And then it was time to head home to Amman.