wake up in cave
meet Awad at shop
look after shop
drive to hill
dinner and camp fire
We had planned on a long walk today. It is supposed to be a pretty, two hour hike around the hills to the Monastery in Petra. Waking up, we found that Awad needed to get to his shop. He still needs to earn a living here, and wanted to get to work early for the tourists that could come. When everyone else was up and about, we locked up the cave and wandered over to see him.
Here we had tea, reheated dinner and a tomato dish for breakfast. Meeting a Czech guy (who is also half Cuban!) that lives here part time was interesting. He lives in Awad’s village for about 6 months a year, and the other 6 in England. He has done a lot of travel, and has settled on here for a while. The last and next couple of years at least. His Arabic is pretty good, and the locals are really good at encouraging you to learn.
During this time Awad offered Anna and Sophia their pick of earings. Sophia picked a nice red coral set of earings, and Anna had a subtle set of turquoise. Then Awad had to put Kohl on their eyes in the traditional bedouin way to protect them from the sun. This made them look fantastic. All made up and to the desert we go! Kohl is created from the Juniper berry. They put it in a bowl and burn it. There are two types of smoke put off from this, and if you put a dish over the top the white smoke curls up and around it, while the black smoke collects in the cover. This is Kohl.
Awad’s teeth were playing up last night, and were still hurting this morning, so he left us in charge of the shop (not knowing the prices of anything) and headed into town. He also needed to get his car fixed, as he wanted to take us into Wadia Araba for the night.
This disappearing act took most of the day. It was very lucky that we only had one tourist walk past. We made an effort, but he was not interested in anything. Other than that, we sat in the shade, playing cards and talking. Occasionally we were joined by some of the family, but that was it.
Towards late afternoon, Awad returned and we had to go. He had bought food, and all we needed to do was load up the car and get out of here. On making it back to the cave, Awad was a bit worried. The lock was still on, but one of the hinges was off. He was really worried that someone had tried to break in. We looked at our bags and everything was fine, which was a relief. Rock and a few nails were all that was needed to fix the door. Loaded up the car and headed off. By now it was too late to make in to Wadi Araba, and he was going to take us to a nice hill with a good view for the night.
The drive was a while. Mostly off the bitumen.
Then we started climbing into the hills. Awad’s car started struggling, and eventually gave up the ghost going up a hill. From here we had to walk to an impromptu camp, as we could not go any further. It was a bit freaky, as we were not sure if we could get back in the morning. However, this time we had brought a large amount of our own water just in case something like this happened again. Grabbing the stuff we did a couple of trips to a nearby outcropping of rock. Off to gather firewood, and settle in.
We started preparing dinner. The same as yesterday, but cooked directly on the coals, and had to sit back waiting for it to be ready. This was going to be an hour and a half. We were starving already!
Dinner was good, and we sat back to enjoy the evening. Awad took Andrew up the hill a bit of a hike away to watch the moon rise. This is where he intended on taking us before the car developed more problems. They sat there talking for a long time, and had the problems between the tribes discussed, along with how tourism and technology are affecting the original bedouin tribes. Awad also offered Andrew a cave. To live in as we wanted, as long as we looked after it. A great offer, and if we did not have to go to France in a week or so, we would have taken him up on the offer.
On going back to the group, David was already asleep, so we set up the proper sleeping arrangements, with Awad having just a blanket. It was big and thick, so he could use it as a matress as well. With the wind finally settling down, it turned out to be a cosy place to spend the night.