For the trip to Jordan, we went through an organized tour because time was too short to do all the planning ourselves. They picked us up first thing in the morning at our Eilat hotel, drove us to the border crossing, and handled all of the visa/passport paperwork.

Our Jordanian guide met us on the other side and we hopped on a bus for the two-hour drive to Petra. Along the way we stopped at a scenic rest stop for breakfast and soon we arrived at the ancient Nabatean city of Petra.

Some of the 26 djin blocks carved out of the rock. These are tombs and the source of the "genie" of Arab folklore.

To get to the heart of Petra, you have to walk through the siq, the narrow passageway between 2 rocks. It may or may not be the result of an earthquake that split a mountain in two. Depends on who you ask.

Along the siq are carved out places where idols used to be. Noah doing his best idol impersonation.

One of the "wonders" of Petra - the treasury. It was carved out of the red sandstone mountain 2000 years ago.

We rode donkeys up 850 carved-out-of-the-mountain steps

to see the monastery at the top. It was worth the perilous journey.

Roy asked his donkey driver where he lived. He said “here.” Roy said, “you mean Wadi Mousa?” (the town that Petra is in). “No,” he replied, “Here, in a cave.” Many Bedouin still live at the Petra site, even though it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Jordanian archaeological park. According to our guide & all of the official Petra literature, the tribes, nomadic & otherwise, were moved off of the park site in the 1960’s & 1980’s, depending on the tribe. Maybe the kids say they still live there to entertain the tourists, or maybe there really are people still living there unofficially.

At the end of a long day, we caught a horse & cart at the plaza in front of the treasury

and rode back through the siq.

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