“Hi, where are you from?”
Impossible not to start a dialogue with this question in Jordan.
But the most charming were the smiles right after my reply: “I’m from Brazil.”
First of all, let’s rewind the tape, to find the reason for this trip.
Being an active person, who rarely stays at home, especially during holidays from the University, but not from the internship (which I attend once a week), I was suffocated by the free time. For some people, holidays means doing nothing, or rather, being able to do all the things you want, to rest, to sleep, and so on. To me, this was being the most boring thing, and I needed to get out of this stage as soon as possible.
In search of destinations for the next day, nothing very well planned, it was hard to find a good destination. Every place that interested me, and could fit in my pocket, had already been explored (or were scheduled for the next few months). I did not know what else to do, the desperation was so great to get out of that cave that I had to break a promise with a friend and impulsively I bought tickets to Eilat, in Israel.
With a few hours to figure out the places to visit, I got a certainty: Petra
Despite being one of the 7 wonders of the world, Petra has never been something that attracted me much. But there is the saying that we have to experience things personally so we can give an opinion.
The first stop on this tour was scheduled for Aqaba, the coastal town of Jordan, on the edge of the Red Sea.
Crossing the border between Israel and Jordan took longer than I thought and I arrived on the beach only to see the sunset, which was already worth it.
People there enjoy the beach in a different way than we are accustomed to. It was difficult to find someone (besides tourists, which were not many) in bathing suits. But in almost every circle of people there was a hookah followed by a lot of music. Unfortunately I could not dive to see the famous corals of the area, but just for being in the water with a T-shirt (when it was -5 ° when I left Germany), it was worth it to be at the beach.
Almost like a rookie, I forgot the repellent, and until I realized that they had stung the eyelid of my left eye, and resolved to ask if there was anything to keep them away, the night had already been lost.
The next day it was time to leave for Petra. Arriving at the bus station, I discovered how the Jordanian scheduling system worked: when the bus is full, it departs.
Delays and more delays
The wait of an hour and a half for the bus showed me a good opportunity for a nap, but also caused one more delay.
Entering at 2 pm at the archaeological site of the city of Wadi Musa, better known as Petra, the deception was apparent. The amount of tourists and locals trying to walk you around was so intense that at first glance I did not understand what I was doing there. To what extent was the hospitality of the locals honestly demonstrated? Or is it all a way to sell tour packages?
Traveling alone as a woman, makes us listen to many phrases that nobody would like to hear, especially coming from a boy. Justified by an adult, this was the boy’s first time around, and precisely because of this, he did not know how to handle tourists. Which makes us think of where he learned such cool English phrases, if not from the adults themselves.
Trying to escape this chaos amid so much beauty, I found a trail that happened to be the way to see Treasure from the top. After a few steps up the mountain, the silence and tranquility enchanted me and I understood how special that place was. As I reached the end and had that wonderful sight, the feeling was of great gratitude.
On the way back, the Sun said goodbye, smiling and reminding me that it was time to go down quickly because it would be dark soon and it would take almost an hour to return, making it inevitable to use a flashlight to avoid falling on the rocks.
The next day, at 6:30 in the morning, I was back in the Nabataean complex with the purpose of seeing the monastery (Ad Deir). Upon entering the Siq Canyon and this time only hearing the noise of the birds, with no one else there, Petra conquered me.
It was what I expected (or wished, because I had no expectation, telling you the truth). Passing quickly through all the monuments, I was soon climbing the trail already under warm sun on my head. It seemed that I was paying all my sins at every step. Halfway there was a lady, who obviously asked me where I was from, and made me promise to look at her tent on the way back, and not knowing how to say no, I promised.
After 7,5km, I saw the end of the staircase, and when I turn to the right, I see the facade of the monastery carved in the rocks.
Minutes later three people emerge from another trail, one of them a guide who made me proud of myself, because I was the first one of the day to get there. Knowing this detail made the feeling of satisfaction even more special.
Unfortunately I could not spend hours there contemplating the Architecture and the nature of the place, it was time to return. Now already relatively full of people offering their donkeys to take me down the mountain, the feeling of indignation dominated me. How can someone with physical conditions pays for an animal to be exploited and transport you to 200 meters above? This feeling was only balanced when I saw a group of old people coming down with great disposition. I think it was the biggest tour of walking sticks I’ve ever seen.
Suddenly I heard someone calling my name, it was the saleswoman reminding me of my promise. Trying to argue that I had no more money (which was true considering the local currency), she stated that she accepted dollars or euros. I ended up surrendering and buying some things to help her, or as she said, the first customer is always blessed. And she thanked me for trusting in her honesty.
With a lot of pain in my legs, after almost 30 km during the two days, I stopped by the hostel to get my backpack and wait again for the bus to Aqaba, finally crossing again the border back to Israel.
My concern was not to arrive late, because they close the border and the next day I had to catch my flight home.
Unwisely I asked the driver (after waiting for 1 hour) at which time we would leave. And he had the brilliant idea of making money on me, saying that if I wanted to go back on the same day was better to pay more. I looked at the other passengers and they agreed to pay more to leave soon. However when the bus left, I had the feeling that I was the only one who paid more.
Anyway, we will always remain honest and doing good things, regardless of the situation.
After all, I got where I wanted, and saw the sunset on the beach of Eilat.
This entry was posted in Middle East