Petra and the trip to Aqaba

How did our group respond about today? Breathtaking. Lots of fun. Multiple modes of transportation. Meeting Bedouins who drive carriages and offer camels, horses, and mules to ride. Tired. Nice to meet so many friendly Jordanians from so many parts of the world. Glad to finally have a day of rest in Aqaba.

Other highlights? Awe at walking down the Siq of Wadi Mousa (think Indiana Jones without the horse). After paying $40 American, the horse attendant called one of us “cheap Americans.” Madison and Marietta won the Camel race. Five of us climbed to the High Place of Sacrifice, with stunning views and an ancient open air temple with an altar. Zelda hiked up to the four Royal Tombs, where there was detailed stonecutting and art that used the color of the sandstone.

We had a delightful lunch in the shade at the bottom of the site, with terrific views of the canyons nearby. The birds were singing in the trees. Allan and Nancy bounced down the Roman road on their carriage. This is a great time of year to be here, as it was in the 80s at the heat of the day. Only Bev had a hard time with the animals today, with a horse that liked to shake its head, and the many people it took to get her artificial knee over the camel’s hump.

After trekking back up the valley, we were driven the two and a half hours to Aqaba. Most of us were dead tired, and slept on the way. Aqaba is in the midst of preparations for Eid of the near Sacrifice of Ishmael. Plenty of shopping going on for gift giving, and the many cruise ships have left port.

Right now, we are listening to Arabic music on the roof of the hotel, sharing stories and the cool breeze.

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