UNTERWEGS NACH LITTLE PETRA
OFF ROAD EXPERIENCE ON THE WAY TO LITTLE PETRA THROUGH THE DESERT
OUR BEDOUIN EXPERIENCE
OUR EXPERIENCE WALKING WITH OUR BEDOUIN FRIENDS AROUND AND UP THE MOUNTAINS TO THE FAMOUS MONASTERY
23rd January THE LOST CITY OF PETRA & LITTLE PETRA - JORDAN
We slept on until 7.0 a.m. After breakfast we set off for Little Petra. Not many people know that there are two Petra cities. Little Petra is much much smaller but also really interesting.
On the way we were fascinated by the sandstone mountains surrounding Wadi Musi and the Bedouin town of Petra next to ancient Petra.
We decided not to take the main road to Little Petra, but to take the adventurous one through the mountains. Typical Peter & Linda. This turned out to be more adventurous than we ever could have imagined!
Amazing sandstone mountains all around. We could not take our eyes off the area surrounding us. Peter had to concentrate on where he was driving as there were rocks all over the place and we did not want to tear our tires. We stopped at regular intervals so that he also could soak up this amazing scenery. We were now driving through Bedouin country with Bedouin tents around us. Whilst driving along, which we had to do slowly, a pick up stopped to greet us. I must point out at this stage that the people of Jordan are extremely friendly and helpful.
The driver was 22 as it later turned out and was in the pick up with his 19 year old wife (they had been married for 7 months) and his aunt. They were a Bedouin family and invited us to take a cup of tea with them at their home - tent. We had already received various offers to do this and on this occasion we accepted. After turning our car around we followed them back along the rough trail. The driver, Musa, stopped his car at the top of the hill and suggested we park here as the road ahead was too rough for our car. We did this. I got in the back seat with the women and Peter jumped in the back of the pickup. It was only 4 minutes to their Bedouin tent but very bumpy and it would have been too dangerous for our tires.
On arrival Musa showed us his home, his goats, sheep and camel. His aunt chopped some wood and made a fire in the tent and put the kettle on the fire. We were invited inside and they had rugs on the floor which we were invited to sit on. A few minutes later another young man and young women joined us. They were Abraham, Musa's brother and his cousin. We all sat crossed legged around the fire and Musa's aunt handed us a glass of tea from the old tea pot. We exchanged introductions and talked a bit about their lives. We told them we wanted to see Little Petra and the Monastery.
Musa and Abraham offered to accompany us and never mentioned one word about receiving any money. I think they were intrigued by us. After finishing our tea we set off to Little Petra in Musa's pick up.
This pickup had approx. 400.000 kilometers on the clock, no window handles. I wanted to take photos on the way so Abraham pulled out a pair of plyers and opened the window for me with these. It is very dusty in the desert and of course the pickup was full of dust and very old but able to conquer the roads in the desert.
On arrival at Little Petra we were again elevated into amazement. Fascinated by our surroundings, we started walking through this second lost city, much smaller than Petra. It was very interesting. There were Bedouin people at various points selling their goods, souvenirs.
We walked to the end of the small city and climbed the rocks at the end up to the cliffs, passing by some very interesting Bedouin shops (a carpet with souvenirs). Every time a Bedouin saw us we were invited to drink tea with him. We had to refuse most of the offers otherwise my bladder would have burst. At the last stop at the end of the mountain we accepted. It was an incredible experience to be out here in the desert in a natural Bedouin home/cave/tent, (not a tourist set up or freak). They nearly all spoke some English which they had learned from the tourists and some spoke excellent English. At this particular Bedouin shop/home/tent, I purchased a hand made ring. The Bedouin people make jewelry to sell to the tourists passing by. This being low season meant it was possible to get a good deal.
Time to continue and head back to the car. We had been walking around Little Petra for over 2 hours. Musa & Abraham were now going to lead us to the sacred Monastery - another „Highlight“ place in Petra. On our way they stopped to show use 2 small huts which were surrounded by fencing to protect them and proved to be from the Neolithic age! Amazing.
Off to the Monastery and another real adventure. We picked our car up on the way and drove through the desert to an area reserved for parking with a security man at the entrance. We all continued our journey in Musa's pickup. The sandy trail we drove along was full of larger rocks and totally uneven. It would have been impossible to drive our car along these trails apart from the fact we would not have known where to drive and which sand trail to take. After about 10 minutes Musa stopped the car and said we had to continue on foot.
I should at this point say that the Bedouins have a different feeling of time and distance than what we have. We started walking along the mountain side, up and up and up. Further, and further and further. It felt as though we had been walking and climbing steps for hours. We had possibly been on the mountain trail for approx. 45 minutes. I kept watching the sun slowly descending and started to get a little worried about coming back all this way along the mountainside in the dark. I stopped our guides and asked how far it was? Just round the corner. After another 10 minutes and rounding several corners I asked again and Musa said about another 20-25 minutes walk. My heart was in my mouth. Of course we wanted to see the famous Monastery and had come so far but now I was really worried about how we were going to get back down the mountain side. I could imagine us sleeping in a cave over night with a donkey, camel and Bedouin.
We continued. Musa had told me that his sister lives in Denmark and I don't know how they did it up so high in the mountains but Abraham got her on his WhatsApp telephone and I spoke to her in English. They were very proud to be on the road with us. After another 20 minutes Musa said it is just round this corner. We rounded the corner and yes, we could see it up top in the mountains in front of us but we still had another 10 minutes at least to climb steps upwards until we reached it. We finally got there just as the sun was sinking to its lowest over the mountains before setting and with the last energy in my last battery I took some photos with the magic of the setting sunlight and then it was dusk!
How could we get back to the car before the evening turned dark and black? I Remembered from our last visit to Petra that there was a second way of getting up here direct from Petra below and talked to Musa about it. We finally decided that he and I would take the 960 steps down to Petra and then cut across to the Bedouin village and Peter and Abraham would go back the way we had come and collect the cars and collect us in the village. This is what we did. Unfortunately, we did not stay at the Monastery for long. We were running out of time.
I took the camera bag with me so that Peter would not have to carry it on what I believed to be the more difficult way back. Musa and I started our journey down the mountain.The steps were very uneven and sometimes quite difficult. Between some steps there would be about 50 meters of sand and rock along the mountainside before the next lots of rock steps started. Many tourists come up and go down the mountain on a donkey. I was glad to be on my own to feet on these uneven steps. Once I slipped and fell over. Poor Musa nearly had a heart attack.
I was perfectly okay and we continued. I now got my torch out of my camera bag and used it. It was getting difficult to see the steps in the dark.
On reaching the bottom I knew where we were in Petra and Musa explained where we had to go. It was only 1 Kilometer along a sand track until we saw some benches where we rested. After about 15 minutes Abraham turned up with the pickup and collected us. Peter was waiting for us in our car at the exit.
We thanked both young men with hugs and showed our appreciation by giving them a handful of dollar notes for their help and guidance. We had had an extraordinary day and a one in a lifetime experience. Now my knees were really hurting and we needed to get back to our hotel, it was 18.45 when we walked into our hotel room and at 19.15 I was in bed and falling asleep. I was really really tired and my knees really hurt from 9 hours of walking and climbing in the mountains. I had taken my lighter camera today and was glad I had. My back had been okay all day but now my knees felt as though they needed replacing!
We ate some fruit and biscuits we had in our room and were too tired to go to the restaurant.Peter corrected some of his notes and we were both fast asleep by 19.45!
This had been an experience never to be forgotten.
PETER - 23.01.2018. LITTLE PETRA
UND ZUM MONASTERY (Der Felsentempel Ad Deir)
Heute steht Little Petra auf den Plan.
Little Petra liegt etwa 7 km von der verlorenen Stadt entfernt, nach einer geruhsamen Nacht und ein anschließendes perfektes Frühstück machten wir uns mit dem Mietwagen auf den Weg. Wir kamen allerdings nicht ganz weit den schon mussten wir der genialen Aussicht wegen den ersten Fotostopp einlegen, es folgten noch einige.
Nachdem wir den Beduinenort Petra passiert hatten bogen wir einfach mal von der Straße ab und folgen den Reifenspuren ins Outback. Der Weg war staubig und steinig.
Nach vielen weiteren Fotostops wollten wir uns vergewissern ob wir auf den richtigen Weg sind, ein mit einem 5 Personen besetzten Pickup Toyota hielt an und bestätigte das wir in die richtige Richtung unterwegs seien. Die Beduinenfamilie die auf den Weg zu ihren Ziegen waren lud uns umgehend zum Tee in ihr Zelt ein, ohne lange
nachzudenken willigten wir ein, im Lager angekommen begann Mussaa's Schwiegermutter umgehend damit Feuer zu machen, wir sahen uns in der Zwischenzeit die Ziegen an. Der Tee war fertig und wir nahmen in dem spärlich eingerichteten Zelt auf den Boden Platz. Eine recht kurzweilige Stunde später machte uns Mussaa den Vorschlag das er und sein Bruder uns zu Little Petra in seinem Pickup fahren würden, den erstens war die Wegstrecke nur mit einem Allrad Fahrzeug zu bewältigen und zweitens waren sie auch noch Touristenführer.
Ganz klar, das wir das Angebot annahmen. Little Petra hat bei weitem nicht die Ausmaße der vergessenen Stadt, sie war aber nicht weniger interessant.
In einer ca. 300 Meter langen Schlucht sahen wir in Felsen gehauene Höhlen zum Teil
2 stöckig über Treppen zu erreichen. Am Ende der Schlucht bekamen wir die Gelegenheit durch eine enge Felsspalte ca. 100 Höhenmeter in die Höhe zu steigen um oben angekommenen einen super herrlichen Ausblick zu genießen und natürlich auch um das ein oder andere Foto zu machen.
Mussaa drängte leicht zum Aufbruch den Little Petra sollte an diesen Tag nicht das einzige Highlight des Tages sein.
Wir fuhren zurück zu unserem Auto, stoppten noch an einer unscheinbaren umzäunten Stelle, die Tür war nicht verschlossen, in dem kleinen Areal standen noch seeehhhhrrrr
Uralte gut erhaltene kleine Beduinenhütten. Die ersten ihrer Art.
Ein Stück weiter war dann für unser Auto Feierabend, weiter ging es dann mit dem Allrad Pickup, nach ca. 1.5 km bekam der Toyota, geschätzte 35 Jahre alt und 400.000 km auf der Uhr auch seine verdiente Pause.
Für uns bedeutete das, ab jetzt ging es nur noch zu Fuß weiter.
Unser Ziel war das Monastery Monument (Der Felsentempel Ad Deir) ganz ganz hoch auf einem der höchsten Bergspitzen gelegen.
Der Weg hoch war unwegsam und verlief Serpentinenartig bergauf und bergab sowie über unendlich viele nicht genormten Stufen. Der 2 stündige Aufstieg verlangte besonders Linda alles was an Energie vorhanden war ab. Unterwegs waren die Ausblicke auf die enormen Gebirgszüge enorm. -------Endlich um die letzte Biegung hatten wir nach einem schweren Aufstieg freien Blick auf eines der am höchsten gelegenen Kloster. Uns blieben allerdings nur rund 10 Minuten um Fotos und Filme
zu machen und der Felsentempel auf uns wirken zu lassen.
Bis zum Sonnenuntergang waren es nur noch 20 Minuten und dann wird es bekanntlich schnell dunkel.
Wir 3 Männer wollten Linda nicht den beschwerlichen Weg zurück zumuten und so entschieden Mussaa und Abraham das Mussaa und Linda den Weg mit 960 Stufen abwärts nehmen werden und Abraham und ich den Aufstiegsweg auch herunter zu den Autos nehmen.
Wir meisterten alle den Weg nach unten ohne Blessuren und trafen uns 1 Stunde später in dem Beduinenort Petra.
Beeindruckend war…… das Mussaa und Abraham als einzige Fremdenführer im Vorfeld für ihre Arbeit keinen Geldbetrag als Gegenleistung verlangten sondern mit dem Zufrieden waren was wir Ihnen in die Hand gedrückt haben und das waren für
5 Stunden 80 USD. Wir verabschiedeten un und versprachen in Kontakt zu bleiben.
Zurück im Hotel lag Linda bereits um 7.30 Uhr im Bett und rührte sich nicht mehr bis zum nächsten Morgen. Ich legte mich wenig später dazu.