For the final leg of my Middle Eastern adventure, I got to visit a place I’ve longed to see ever since watching Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade: Petra, Jordan. After researching the hell out of the Internet to find the best guided tour or day trip, we decided to go it alone and rent a car instead of doing a day tour, which would give us a whopping four hours in the park. And it’s a good thing we adventured on our own because you need much, much more than four hours to see everything this historical wonder has to offer. We ended up having two days in Petra and barely saw all the highlights. Reminiscent of Southern Utah, wandering sandstone slot canyons spit you out directly in front of the famous treasury where the residents of the park (yes, there are people who live in Petra) will offer you trinkets, tea, camel rides, donkey rides, horse rides or anything else tourists are interested in. These offers are constant throughout the park, so if you think you will find isolation while getting lost in the desert, think again. But it’s not so bad once you start hiking and exploring, and in the off season there are hardly any other tourists there. We practically had the place to ourselves. After watching the sunset at the top of the monastery, we hiked out of the park on our first day in the dark with the company of a few of the residents who sold donkey rides. If I were to end up in Petra again, I would make time for a solid four days to really experience everything.
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