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“Who wants a carriage?” Salam, our guide asks. We shake our heads cockily. We can walk this, no worries. He smiles knowingly and organizes carriages for the way back.
The sun is strong today and we walk into the cool of the Siq (canyon), relieved. The sudden thundering of hooves breaks our reverie as one of the more raucous members of our group screeches out from a passing heaving carriage, “I need a sports bra!”
After experiencing the wonders of Petra by Night, we are surprised how awesome the Treasury is in daylight, and after clicking our cameras furiously we walk away reluctantly – until a whole city opens up before us.
Salam leads the more intrepid among us up a winding climb to view the city from on high.
We enter tombs and pose at the edge of cliffs, all the while feeling as though we’re interlopers here, but happy to be welcomed.
We stop for lunch before making plans to explore the rest of the city. Some head up to the Monastery, others look for a hidden spring.
We meet back at the Treasury, tired and dreading the two kilometers trek back to the coach.
Some of us jump into a carriage. The rest, walk back and meet at the stores, thirsty and covered in the dust of Petra.
That night, we check in to the Kempinski Ishtar on the shores of the Dead Sea and sleep the sleep of tired explorers.