Jordan

13 11 2014

My partner and I wanted an autumn break but the tourist season in Greece, which was our original goal, was over so the choice fell on Jordan and what attracted us there was the forgotten city of Petra, a visit to the Dead Sea and the fact that sun and 28-30C was forecast for the whole week.

Our hotel was located directly across the road from the ancient city ruins of Ayla where there was an earthcache Earthquake evidence at ancient Ayla and a traditional cache Tunisian Springs Park #1 which we DNF’d. Apart from that there were just two more traditional caches in the city and even after several visits we had to DNF those as well. A few days later a cacher who shall remain nameless has placed caches close-by (up to 100m away) and called them replacements. As it wasn’t done with the knowledge of the CO and the listing co-ords still point to the original cache it is a behaviour that is questionable. In it’s extension a cacher can just drop a micro somewhere and claim it’s a replacement cache and not even bother looking for the original. Some call it creative, some call it cheating.

I am not enthralled by urban micro’s anyway so it doesn’t matter that I DNF’d them. I find earthcaches much more interesting and educational. The first earthcache at the ancient site of Ayla taught me both about types of earthquake damage but also about the history of the site itself.

Sign showing the layout of the old city

Sign showing the layout of the old city

ds8300 in the centre of the ancient Ayla city

ds8300 in the centre of the ancient Ayla city

You can see that everything leans this way and that

You can see that everything leans this way and that

Earthquake damage on the old wall

Earthquake damage on the old wall

Remains of column in the old city

Remains of column in the old city

Two days after our arrival we took the tour to Petra. Some people prefer to do this on their own by renting a taxi but I am not convinced it is a cheaper solution in addition to the ride an entry ticket has to be bought at the entrance on arrival and is much more expensive than a ticket supplied through the travel agent. We paid 50JOD (about 55 EUR/70USD) whereas a ticket on the gate cost 90 JOD (100EUR/125USD).

The site is fascinating and well worth the visit. The construction of waterways as well as the tombs themself was quite amazing. Some of the stonework is really artistic in its execution. Some of the details on carvings have been eroded over hundreds of years of flying sand but non-the-less they are still of a very high class.

Mountains surrounding Petra

Mountains surrounding Petra

Start of the walk into Petra

Start of the walk into Petra

Walking into the ravine which is wide and shallow at this point

Walking into the ravine which is wide and shallow at this point

The ravine tightens up as we get closer to Petra

The ravine tightens up as we get closer to Petra

The Treasury just coming into sight at the end of the ravine

The Treasury just coming into sight at the end of the ravine

Coming out of the ravine and seeing the whole of the treasury is quite amazing

Coming out of the ravine and seeing the whole of the treasury is quite amazing

Even after all these years the detail in the stonework is still there

Even after all these years the detail in the stonework is still there

Locals shot at the urn believing it held treasure.

Locals shot at the urn believing it held treasure.

ds8300 in front of the Treasury

ds8300 in front of the Treasury

Map of the Petra area

Map of the Petra area

Camel rides for the tourists

Camel rides for the tourists

Simpler grave chambers on the western side of the valley

Simpler grave chambers on the western side of the valley

Impressive carving work

Impressive carving work

Can you see the small red square? That's the local inhabitant on the next photo.

Can you see the small red square? That’s the local inhabitant on the next photo.

One of the local inhabitants

One of the local inhabitants

One of the many graves hewn into the cliffs

One of the many graves hewn into the cliffs

Another of the many graves

Another of the many graves

There are three traditional caches and an earthcache at Petra. Unfortunately, the trads are a climb out of the tourist area and need a couple of extra hours to get to. As we were in a tourist group it wasn’t possible to stray away for that long so I had to be satisfied with the earthcache. The earthcache questions were easier to answer for Petra Al Khazneh than the ones in Aqaba and the whole site was worth it’s place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing (Number 326).

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