taxi to little Petra
meet up with Awad
bags at cave
walk around for sunset
dinner at cave
This morning we thought we would find “Bedouin Boy” The guy that we first met when we went to Little Petra. He had offered to let us stay with him for a night or so. This meant checking out of the hotel, and getting a Taxi to Little Petra. Taxi drivers in Wadi Musa refuse to put on the meters for tourists, and pick prices out of their heads. We had a range from 20JD (where elsewhere you can travel half the country) down to 10JD which is still ridiculous for the 4km trip. We eventually got one for 7JD. Outrageous. Still we got to Little Petra again. Meeting up with his family at the main entrance, they sent someone up to get him. We were happy to leave our bags and go ourselves, but we had to stay and talk to the family. Sister, Aunt and in another stall, Mother. Bedouin Boy came down and we got his name again. Awad.
After a while, we went back down and took our bags to his cave. Awad’s brother has a little jeep that Awad can use. So we piled all our bags in the back. Sophia sat on Anna’s lap in the passenger seat, and David & Andrew hung from the sides of the jeep for the drive. We had no idea how far it was and were a bit worried. It only turned out to be a short distance. Basically around the corner, and along the canyon wall. There is a small niche in the wall that is not really visible from anything but straight on, and there is a small doorway in the wall. This leads to the 2000 year old Nabataean tomb in the hillside that Awad calls home. It is very cool, and actually smells pretty good (compared to the ones in Petra!) The walls are painted blue, and a string of plastic flowers grace one wall. The roof is black with years of indoor fires, but Awad has an outdoor fire pit. It is a really good setup. Well organised, simple and efficient. We sat there for a while, then headed out for a walk around the hills.
Our first stop is the Bedouin camp, where for a small fee you can sleep like the bedouin do. It is a very simple setup. A large
communal tent, surrounded by a few smaller tents separated into rooms. Checking out the well set up kitchen and toilet block. Again, simple and efficient. This marks the point where we start to leave civilisation behind. Going up another connected valley, and the walls starting to come together. Numerous stops to swap more jokes (please post good jokes in the comments, as we really do not remember enough), and enjoy the different views.
Now we have to start our ascent to the top of the hills. This section takes us through narrow pathways, and cracks in the wall that you think you could not possibly go through, but when you get to them you can climb over a few rocks and walk up the middle. Towards the top we have to do a little rock climbing, but David opts out and goes to sleep on a big flat boulder. We jump a small but deep chasm, climb up some more rocks, and end up on a beautiful flat spot overlooking little Petra, Awads shop underneath and slightly around the corner. The view reminds us a bit of the Bungle Bungles in Australia, but more melted and jaggard.
Sitting here, relaxing and watching the sun go down. Awad yells out to his cousin, and he
climbs directly up to be with us. This is nice. The view is great, and the company perfect. You can see all the way out to Israel, Wadi Ariba, Wadi Musa, the bedouin village (Bedul Village. The name of the tribe), and the village that most of Awad’s tribe live in. There is a lot of animosity between the Bedouin and the “Farmers” from Wadi Musa. Awad’s tribe made some room for the Bedul years ago, and when Petra became a popular visitor attraction the farmers moved in the create Wadi Musa. These guys had a bit of conflict with the Bedouin tribes (calling them Gypsies) and called in the Jordanian Military to kick them out of Petra. This happened three times, and never worked. I think they hit the hills, and could not be found. After this the government created the other two villages giving the options to people to move in. We sat there watching the subtle change in colours and the sun disappearing behind the rocks we start to make our way down. This route is a bit tricky and we work our way down and around the hills to his shop. There are a couple of Older Bedouin there. They are smoking a traditional smoke (Not Marijuana or anything like that) that has a mild calming effect, but very strong in nicotine. Andrew tries it, and is very careful not to burst out coughing. One bit was enough! Sitting there until it gets a bit darker, and we have to make our way back as we have no torches.
Making it back to the cave, Awad’s cousin Awaad (Pronounced differently) heads to town to pick up dinner. We try to get the generator up and running, but discover quickly that there is no fuel. This is not a problem, as he has plenty of candles.
Dinner arrives, and we start a fire outside to cook on later. This is a fairly simple task: cut everything up, put it on a plate, wrap in alfoil, and put in the coals. Cover the foil with more hot coals, and make chai. Wait.
The dinner was pretty good. Chicken & Vegies. Unfortunately, we got sidetracked and slightly overcooked the chicken so it was a bit dry. Still it was a good meal, and beats the Falafels we have been having for dinner.
More talking, and lay out the mats. The cave is warm at night and cool in the day. Perfect.