Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day 15: Little Petra and the Longest Day on the Trail

March 15: We woke up to a cloudy, overcast day. It wasn't supposed to rain--not yet, at least.

We packed up and headed out. Almost immediately we arrived at Little Petra. Like the main attraction, it was full of souvenir shops and people hawking the stuff. It wasn't as large as Big Petra nor as well-visited, although some of the narrow canyons felt just as congested as Big Petra.

Little Petra souvenir shops

It was also full of ancient tombs and caverns carved directly into the sandstone rocks. They are jaw-dropping and amazing in their own right, although a far cry compared to places like the Treasury, Monastery and Royal Tombs.

We passed a sign exclaiming that we were a mere 6 minutes from "the best view in the world." Even Petra didn't make that boast! We must be in for a treat!

The canyon we followed turned into a narrow slot canyon up a steep slope and foot traffic slowed to a stop due to congestion. In places, it was impossible for people to pass each other so we had to wait for tourists coming down, then they would have to wait as we climbed up.

Something to look forward to! =)

Six minutes later, we weren't even halfway up the slope and I turned around to admire the view and joked, "This is not the best view in the world. I've seen better." But I got the impression the sign actually referred to the view at the top of the slope and hadn't accounted for the rush-hour traffic.

We finally arrived at the top and... well, I still didn't think it was the best view in the world. Although truth be told, I suspected the sign might have been exaggerating even when I first saw it. It was nice... but I had seen better views on the Jordan Trail just the day before!

We stopped for a short while at the top as everyone else in our group slowly made their way up and once we had all arrived, we continued the march onward. Yella! Yella!

The terrain was rocky and slow-going much of the time, although not especially difficult. Just slow. It was a long day of hiking as well--25 kilometers in all. The original hiking schedule was a couple of kilometers shorter, but they had shortened our hike yesterday to stay at the Bedouin camp which lengthened our hike today by an equivalent amount.

The day's hike took so long, we were still on the trail at sunset. We were able to see camp a couple of kilometers before arriving so we knew we were close, but we were still hiking the trail as the sun fell behind the horizon for the last time and I tried to pick up the pace to make it to camp before dark. I hadn't brought a headlamp because I didn't imagine that I'd be hiking after dark!

It was starting to get dark as we arrived into camp

We arrived in camp as darkness settled in. A couple of the brightest stars were visible, but it wasn't dark either. I hoped dinner would be ready soon because I was famished.

Quite a few of the hikers were still on the trail behind us and we could see their headlamps moving around the hillside as they inched down to camp. The trail was a bit hard to follow in places and I hoped they were all doing okay. At the very least, they should be able to see the lights from camp and follow the lights into camp. I wondered how many of them had their headlamps on them. I hadn't brought one thinking they weren't necessary. Never before had we arrived in camp so late before!

It took maybe another hour or so before the last of the hikers arrived into camp, and for those at arrived in the dark with headlamps we gave a round of applause to as they walked into camp. Good job, night hikers! =)

Dinner was finally served at about the same time and I pigged out. I so was hungry and tired!

When I went to sleep, the sky was clear and the stars twinkled brightly, but I put the rainfly on for my tent because the weather forecast called for rain most of the day tomorrow. In case it started up in the morning before we left, I wanted the rainfly up.

But I didn't sleep well. The idea of hiking through a cold rain all day tomorrow did not excite me, and I knew we would be hiking through more slot canyons which is a terrible place to be in rain. Hopefully we'd get through early in the morning before the rain started, and we'd take an alternative route if we had to, but I was worried about what tomorrow would bring.... Tomorrow didn't look like it would be fun.

Little Petra ruins



The guy is playing a rebab, a one-stringed instrument common in the area. Next to him is Lina. Hi, Lina!  I started joking that she knew everyone in Jordan because as we hiked, she'd run into people on the trail who knew her and they'd hug and chat like old friends. And it happened over and over and over again!
In case you want to hear what a rebab sounds like, I took this video.



Given the cloudy, overcast weather, I decided to start the day hiking in one of my new scarves from Petra. =)
Now it's only 5 minutes to the best view in the world!
Five minutes later, I turned around and took this photo. Not the best view in the world.... A nice view, perhaps, but definitely not the best!
This canyon was a bit tight getting through!
Even when we reached the top of the slope, it's a nice view, but still not the "best" view in the world.



















This is Puk, my trash bag dealer. =)




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