Last night we ripped it up a little so we were a bit slow going today but we finally got ourselves together and started off to Petra.
We hopped in our rental car and started the 1.5 hr trip north to Petra. We ended up getting a great price on a car (40JD/day for a nice small SUVish Kirean vehicle) and we were happy to drive ourselves. The road between Aqaba and Petra is smooth and easy as long as you don't speed, you watch out for goats and the odd truck driving the wrong way, with beautiful mountains flanking the road as you gradually go up, away from the low lying sea. In Jordan, you can park you car in the middle of the street or drive the wrong way down the side of the highway and the idea of Ames are merely a suggestion but they take speeding very seriously.
Once you make the turn off to Petra, things get very dramatic. The long, winding road takes you higher and higher until you are at a height of about 6000 Metres. I don't think either of us have been that high without the benefit of an airplane and I kept asking for comparisons to places I had previously thought to be super high and nothing came even close.
We stopped at the second souvenir shop to gape at the view and take photos but it felt impossible to capture the scale, something that would prove to be a problem from that point on. There was much "holy shitting" going on.
We are staying at The Movenpick, right in front of the gates to Petra. The hotel is a splurge but absolutely worth it. Trust me. You can just walk in to the entrance, no taxis to and from the hotel and after trudging through the dusty site you are sweaty and dirty and it's nice time back to a beautiful bed and a strong, hot shower.
One word of warning: this felt like a brand new policy but not only must you have proof that you are staying overnight in Jordan to avoid being charged 90JD instead of the regular price of 50JD but they wanted passports, which we left at the hotel. Luckily, we have photos of our passports on our phones, but were told to bring them the next day for re entry ( we paid 55JD for two days).
What can I say about Petra that hasn't already been said? Just look at the pictures. Oh, and watch out for horses screaming through the narrow Siq.