Entry Info

5th (Sat)
Jun 2010

[day100] Started Up North - Petra

Started Up North - PetraWith the four friends met in Dahab, I departed up North to Jordan. Firstly we had to cross the Red Sea by the ferry which runs between Nuweiba, Egyptian side and Aqaba, Jordan side. Mostly, foreigners are forced to use the "high speed ship" but it costs 60 USD(+exit tax 10 USD). By Egyptian standards, it's a super expensive transportation. It's more than triple my daily spending in Dahab! But thanks to the surprisingly clean interior, it was by far the most comfortable trip ever in Egypt as well.

Yet unsurprisingly the ferry was running on the Egyptian quality schedule. Although we were rushed to come to the seaport as the ferry was supposed to leave by the noon, there were no hints for the next movement on time and we had to wait the next few hours there. What's more, even after boarding the ferry didn't start immediately and it was already very dark when we arrived at Aqaba. At length, the time we exited the passport control was after 9 o'clock.


If I'd travelled on my own, I'd given up going further and tried to stay there one night but I was with my friends who were also very experienced travellers. We knew that it wouldn’t cost too much even if we used the taxi to Petra directly and therefore started negotiating with the drivers there. After a 15 minutes tough negotiation, one driver yielded to our request with 40 JOD(40 EUR) for 5 passengers, which was about half his first suggestion. Well, how wonderful that I have dependable company.

The roads in Jordan were very well paved and much cleaner than Egypt. Also the cars themselves looked in good condition and there were traffic signals too. Well, it sounds like we, who were so excited about these normal things, came from very countryside. After two hour driving on the wagon, we noticed it was a bit chilly outside and it was the arrival of Petra which is located on 1000m altitude. This time, we checked in at the"Valentine Inn" which is very popular among backpackers for their very affordable price. 3 JOD for the dorm room is a pretty good deal.


The next morning, we went sightseeing immediately. Thanks to the free shuttle bus from the accommodation, it took only 5 minutes instead of taking 30 minutes on foot. But there was a small pitfall with it. The bus was supposed to depart at 7 and 8. As we arrived there very late last night, we decided to join the bus at 8 and went to the bed straight away, taking it for granted that there is no time difference between Egypt and Jordan. However, there is indeed due to the day light saving. Not realising the fact, the Japanese group got together precisely at 9 in Jordan time. Though the guy in the accommodation graciously helped us to get there, we learnt that we must check the time difference after passing the country borders.


Started Up North - PetraThe entrance fee of Petra is in fact notoriously expensive. It costs 33 JOD, matching it to a decent theme park. What's more they are planning to raise the price to 50 JOD as of November 2010. What great confidence the Jordanian government has. Nevertheless, if I'm asked "Would it be worthwhile to go to this site?", I would still answer "GO". (At least, providing it is 33 JOD. 50 JOD is very high.) Actually, this ruin site is bigger than ordinary theme parks and takes more than one day to walk around the whole are. Plus, it would cost anyway the same if we go to on a one day tour.


Started Up North - PetraWalking along a flat road, sheer cliffs came into my view and making the way further a huge caved temple "Al Khazneh" suddenly appeared from the break in the cliffs. The BGM playing in my mind was of course the theme of Indiana Jones. Well, I did come here in order to see the temple. Although the atmosphere was slightly spoiled due to the number of tourists there, the huge temple was absolutely overwhelming. Also there are various ruins and theatres along the road, and looking at them, I moved on my way further.


Started Up North - PetraAfter walking for a while, I found a small sign in the middle of the cliff and it read "fortress" with an arrow. Although the other tourists simply disregarded the sign and went on the main road, I preferred less people and tried to go with the sign. Walking half an hour and following several signs, I found that I was on the route to the other side of the mountain. Though I could see so many tourists walking far beneath, there were only a few people on my course. Well, my sense of travelling worked well this time. It was nice to have less people for the photography indeed.


I guess I walked much more than 10 km in total. When the shuttle bus came to pick us up, I was so exhausted that I didn’t feel like going out afterwards. So, we joined the buffet provided by the accommodation and it was surprisingly tasty. The lack of proper foods since the previous day might have affected my taste though, I enjoyed the typical Arabic foods from them. Also playing cards with beer with the friends was so much fun too. As Petra doesn't have any special places apart from the ruin, we were leaving on the next morning to Amman.

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In order to present well organised articles, this blog is not updated on real time base. (You can find "Entry Info" on the left panel, "updated on" and "travelled on") Regarding to the current information about me, please follow satoshionoda_e on twitter. I'm tweeting almost every day.

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