Opening one eye I can tell it's first light. There's an incredible stillness in the air and glancing over towards Steph I can see her sitting up straight on her bed gazing out over the desert taking it all in...
"Can yo wake me when the sun's about to rise?"
I doze back off only to wake wit Khalid yelling in my ear...
"Time to get up! Breakfast time!"
Dragging myself out of bed I notice clouds on the horizon, doesn't look like it was much of a sunrise :) Surprised it's already 07:30 I join everyone crowding around the breakfast table and laugh as they poke at the strange substances served up as breakfast.
Steph's booked herself a camel ride out so after packing all our stuff I go to jump in the car...
"So, am I driving back?"
Khalid doesn't look so impressed "You can drive?"
"Hmmmmm, if you want"
Speeding off in my new toy it's great fun navigating through the sand. Twenty minutes later we arrive back in Wadi Rum village (where most of the local Bedouins actually live) and Khalid takes me over to his brother's house to use his wireless.
Steph appears all to quickly and after a brief stop for tea at the local cafe we say our farewells to Khalid and head off towards Petra.
Wadi Rum is a must see for all travelers to Jordan. A magical place and even though the "touristy side" is a bit much to start with the overall experience is great. And I have to recommend our guide, Khalid (+962 77 540 229), he made the experience all the more pleasant. Just make sure you bargain hard ;)
The drive to Petra takes a little longer than expected and because of Ramadan we arrive starving. A Movenpick resort appears before us and we can't resist, when it's this or nothing it's time to pull out the credit card ;)
Surprisingly the meals aren't too pricey and with a nice glass of wine I'm left feeling very content. Checking in at the first hotel we spot in the center of town it's in for a quick shower before heading down to discover the wonder that is Petra!
And holly crap!!! Where did all these tourists come from?!?
The whole place is teaming like an ants nest, and this is meant to be low season! Making our way through a deep sandstone gorge the colors in the evening light are stunning. Emerging from the gorge we come face to face with Petra's crown jewel...the treasury.
This giant building hewn into the sandstone cliff before us is incredible. A masterpiece of craftsmanship and well worth the trip just on it's own. But the amazing thing with Petra is there's hundreds of these things! Very similar to Cappadoccia in Turkey but with a bit more style.
Tiring quickly we decide to head back and save the Monastery for the morning, the rumor is there's a climb of almost 1000 steps and we aren't in the mood for that! :)
Making our way back to town and enjoying an orange juice on the footpath a lively Australian comes to join us. Rick's a character, an incredibly alive and friendly guy. With dreadlocks and retired at 44 he's not your average anything. Intent on living life by his own terms it's great to meet someone really living to the fullest. Cheers mate, it was a pleasure :)
I head over to the internet cafe leaving Steph and Rick laughing away merrily.
Another perfect day :)