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Goodbye Syria, Hello Jordan - and Indiana Jones

Written on: Saturday April 12th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

The 150km bus ride from Damascus in Syria to Amman in Jordan took 7 hours - mainly thanks to a guy on our bus who got held up at the border and in the end he didn't make it through.  They let the kiwis in though!

Straight away we noticed that Jordan is a little more organised, the faded uniforms of the Syrian officials were replaced by crisp looking (and more attractive I noticed) Jordanians.  

We headed straight to Petra, an ancient city from 3rd century BC carved into the sandstone cliffs.  Most famous for being in Indiana Jones movie.  We will spare you the hundreds of photos we took there for another time, but it was completely amazing and photos don't really do it justice.  For the first time we find ourselves surrounded by tourists, but its worth it because the place is awesome.  We spent nearly 3 whole days walking around, in the middle of the day it reaches around 35 degrees, so started at around 7am each day and found a shady rock to hide under for a few hours at noon.  We were lucky enough to be there for Petra by Night, it is lit up with 1500 candles and you walk through to the main area as a group, guided by the locals . 

Speaking to some friendly young locals we find out that the King has recently decided to fine young people with spiky hair and baggy jean crotches, they were looking at concern with Al as they asked him if he uses wax or gel.

We have done so much walking in the last 3 days we are worn out!  The outrageously priced pints of beer at the end of the day were worth every dinar.  As most people go to Petra for one day, by day 3 we were like the locals, with regular friends at stalls along the way to stop for a cup of chai (aka bedouin whisky) as we went.  They have a very simple way of life but I reckon they're all millionaires in there, with 4,000 visitors every day buying their beads and camel bone necklaces.  The bedouin men are allowed a few wives, perhaps that's the reason they look happy.