Wednesday, 1 September 2010

No 379 Of Petra, Shirley and Johnny





Wow! A full day in Petra and did we do some walking today or what?. As I write it's 6p.m. and youngen sleeps in our room upstairs exhausted from the many kilometres and hundreds of steps we ascented trying to see the most of Petra in 8 hours and the scorching heat.

Think of the Cheddar Gorge and Caves, the Grand Canyon and the Indianna Jones film set mix them all up and you get something like the astonishing place that is Petra. In fact, at times it was all so spectacular and there was so much of it that by lunch time I was sick of seeing it - or at least seeing sights that you knew you would have to explore because you'd likely never get a chance again.

The climax to Petra is a visit to the Monastary set some 800 steps up in the hill side which you can either walk to or get to on a donkey. We walked which is why I'm aching and plan a swim and a massage and youngen is dead beat upstairs. "We'll think it the right decision in a few days time" he declared as we clocked the exit gate earlier and trudged wearily to where our guide was to pick us up this afternoon. The donkey ride salesman wasn't so convinced however. In the half a mile it took him to accept that we really weren't going to hire any of his donkeys he told me that he was a Bedouin and that Bedouin were "very popular with the ladies". He told me his current girlfriend is 42, from Switzerland and 12 years older than he was. He'd found his own Shirley Valentine on a donkey in Petra.

The Jordian Bedouin it has to be said are handsome folk. The females have lovely smiles backed up by beautiful white teeth. The guys with deepset dark eyes shaded by scarves all resembled Johnny Depp to me. The more I looked around the more I saw Johnny Depp lookalikes flying by on camels or whipping the hell out of uncooperative donkeys. At least I think I did or may be it was the heat...

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