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Thursday, October 10: Day 171 – Let’s Go/Yalla

We had such a full day yesterday that we decided to sleep late. However, before lights out, my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, were playing last night in a must win game to continue in the post season. They played at midnight. What is a fan to do? I contacted my family and told them to yell extra loud, and that I hope to wake up to learn that we won. Let’s Go/Yalla in Arabic.

Rob was a little slow in turning out the light so I watched the first inning. The Cardinals scored a record 11 runs. Anything can happen in baseball, but I went to sleep fairly confident. Yalla!!

We were very sore and moving slowly this morning. Since we are going to be camping in the Wadi Rum for two days, I just packed my backpack and daypack. I will leave my rolling suitcase with medicines, dirty clothes and raincoat in the car.

“Yalla”, said Rob. We finally get to the Petra site.

On the our walk through the Siq, we pass Jeremy Hildreth who we had met the day before at Little Petra. He had arisen earlier and walked all the way to the Monastery. Jeremy is here at the request of the JBT, the Jordan Bureau of Tourism, to help them promote and market Jordan as a travel destination. He wasn’t sure if he would go to the Wadi Rum since he has been to Utah! We encouraged him to take this unforgettable trip!!

There are many trails and sights to see in Petra, but one has to pick and choose. Rob wanted to climb to the highest spot to get a birds eye view. It was called the High Place of Sacrifice.

It was a hard climb to the top. My hiking boots got wet yesterday so I couldn’t wear them today. I had to wear my slip-on shoes with no tread or support. We had to go slow since the steps were slippery with sand. One can only go as fast as the slowest person. Rob leads the way. See him in the picture. He told me about a comprehensive New Zealand study that correlates walking speed with mental acuity. Fast walkers are fast thinkers and have better health!!! I shall pick up the speed.

When I was close to the top, Taman, a woman selling jewelry, extended a helpful hand. She was so strong and knowledgeable. We are friends!! We sat in the shade together and drank water. I got out my sunscreen, and she took some from me as well. Taman walks two hours to the top in the morning and two hours back down. She pointed out her home down in the valley. She hadn’t sold anything. I didn’t want to buy anything that I would have to carry for another six months. She reluctantly accepted a tip.

Here is the High Place of Sacrifice which was initially used by the Edomites, then the Nabateans.

It seems like every culture strives to reach God by climbing to the highest place.

I recall Psalm 121:1-2 and how it is an often misunderstood verse.

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

There should be a “No” between verse 1 and 2. Followers of Jesus Christ don’t get their help from the high places, it comes from God Almighty.

Yalla! We walked down the other side into the basin. Here is a picture taken by Rob.

Here is a picture of Rob taking the previous picture.

At the bottom of the basin is the Great Temple.

Their theatre is carved into the rock.

One more picture of the Treasury before we leave.

Nabateans were famous for trading and their trade routes. One of their big commodities was frankincense. It is quite possible that the Magi stopped here to purchase this gift for the Christ child. At the very least, it came from here.

Yalla! We walked back out the Siq where the sounds of racing horse carriages echo off the walls. Watch this video.

The word Siq only applies to the narrow gorge found at Petra.

Yalla! We leave Petra for Wadi Rum. Marwan asked if we wanted to take a panorama picture of Petra before we leave. We were running a little late so Rob asked if it was out of the way. No, and he pulled over!! Ha

We got out and took this picture.

We arrive in the Wadi Rum. It is a huge area and almost 300 square miles are protected. There are 80 camps; many look like Martian pods, white and dome shaped. You can open up to see the stars at night. These domes became popular after The Martian was filmed in the Wadi Rum. We prefer the old fashioned Bedouin style as we don’t want our host country to change for us. Just exist and let us come alongside your life.

Owning a camp has many costs, and it’s hard to make money. We stayed at Zawideh Desert Camp. This name is the name of their Bedouin tribe. We had our own square tent in a camp.

After dinner, we went on a night jeep ride. Our hosts were Obada (22) and Hamza (21). They are in college studying geography and accounting, respectively. They are home nearby on weekends. They like to go deep into the Wadi Rum with their friends and stay a few days.

It was fun to talk to these young Bedouin men as they have the same dreams of others their age throughout the world: love, family, marriage, travel, career, etc.

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