Monday, June 6, 2011

Petra, Wadi Rum, Aquaba

This last weekend I went to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aquaba. It was a blast. We left Friday morning for Petra. We were planning to go hiking when we arrived, and I realized on the bus that I hadn’t dressed appropriate for such an activity. So I strategically changed my clothes on the bus while sitting in my seat while everyone was unawares.  When we arrived we headed off on our hike to the Monestary. We walked down the trail to the treasury which is in a scene that everyone kept referring to from Indiana Jones. I wasn’t too excited to see the treasury due to the fact that I haven’t seen the film that is was a part of. However, I was very impressed with the beauty and workmanship of the exterior of the rocks. While at the treasury, my friends and I decided to ride camels to the stairs at the beginning of our hike. This decision was made partly because of laziness, but mostly for the experience.  It took me a while to figure out to get on this enormous creature even when it was lying down. After some assistance and after I was in position, the camel rose to his feet. I’ve seen camels in pictures and movies and I’ve never questioned the realness of their height, but from experience, they are really tall! I felt like I was driving my dad’s big-A truck again. I was glad that my camel was attached to someone else’s so I didn’t have to steer. But I soon realized that the view would have been much better had I been in front and I wouldn’t have had to interrupt the perfect timing of the camel in front of me going to the bathroom. The ride got uncomfortable real quick. I could feel where my bruises were going to appear within 5 minutes. I tried to raise my legs higher on the camel as long as I could, which was most comfortable, but my legs still got sore. It was especially fun when my camel started to run. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool. I just wouldn’t use a camel as a frequent mode of transportation.  Once we came upon the steps of the hike, we were approached by children with donkeys who could take us up the stairs. We couldn’t resist and proceeded to make our way up the trail on a donkey. I liked the donkey ride better than the camel ride. However, I felt bad because it literally carried me about two miles up a 45 degree inclined mountain. Almost twenty minutes later, my donkey and its child, were struggling for air as we made it to the top. From there we hiked about five minutes to other sculpted rock. I’d say it was a good hike.
From Petra, we went to Wadi Rum.  Wadi Rum is a desert with mountains of rock and sand. It is beautiful. There is something that deserts offer that nothing else can. I don’t even know how to adequate describe it or give it any justice. When I first arrived, I spotted a perfect sand dune far enough away from camp for me to climb. As I was running up it, my legs were sinking into the sand. This sand dune wasn’t even close to being the highest mountain, but I could everything from it. I saw our camp not too far away. I saw another camp a little further. Mostly I just saw mountains of rock perfectly shaped in their own imperfections. It was so quiet and peaceful. I played in the soft, warm sand. I tried to take it all in as my fellow travelers followed me up the hill. I loved how limitless it was. I felt as though I could go anywhere I wanted. Later that night we went on a night hike through the open wilderness. We stopped and rested under the stars. I haven’t seen the stars like that since I’ve been in Jordan. I haven’t taken advantage of them in a long time either. I saw a few shooting stars. There was a soft breeze and the conversation was hilarious per usual. It was a great night.

Aquaba was just what I needed. We stayed at a nice hotel with unlimited showers. My first adventure was going to the beach. It was the opposite of Wadi Rum, such that it didn’t have soft sand. It was more like rocks with sand in between them. But I did find that if I went further out into the water my feet touched sand.  I jumped off the dock a couple of times, almost lost my sunglasses four times, and drank my body weight in salt water which made my lips really chapped. It felt so good to be overwhelmed by the sun while immersed in cold water. That night we rented out a boat from a local guy to show us around. This was one of my favorite moments of the trip. Picture Annie, Janae, Aussie, Jensen, Skye, Jeremy, Ben, and myself chillin in a weathered boat barely holding itself together drinking Barios. (Bario is flavored non-alcoholic beer..aka..malt beverage ) We’re looking through a glass covered whole in the boat of the water below. Jensen’s wearing his short shorts, Ben has a cane (a story that is not mine to tell), Skye is as far off the edge of the front of the boat as possible, Aussie is considering climbing on the overhead cover of the boat, Annie is translating and keeping us from doing something stupid, Janae is working on her tan, Jeremy is getting his reflection picture in his sunglasses, and I am chillin with an air of a self-serving dynast. (more or less a comfortable way of chilling) It was a picturesque moment and I highly enjoyed it. We saw a tank underwater and some cool fish. Later we walked along the beach and explored the surrounding area. The next day I tried my hand at paddleboats. Only just before I offended some guy on the beach who kept bothering us by asking if we wanted to ride his camel. After a couple no thankyous from Jeremy, I finally told him that we didn’t want it and to go away (with a little attitude I’d admit) then he went on this rampage and yelled about who knows what. He couldn’t handle that he had been given attitude by a women and apologized to every guy around and still tried to talk to us throughout the day. Paddle boating was fun and I’m not as out of shape as I think I am. We explored a castle nearby and headed towards the bus towards home. It was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to hit up Wadi Rum and Aquaba again. 

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