On My Way To Petra.
So…today started out as chaos. I got up super early, so I could get to the Jett Bus station and be the first one in line. The man I talked with yesterday on the phone said to be at the bus station at 0600 to get a ticket. Figuring earlier is better, I decided to get there at 0530. By the time I checked out and caught a taxi to the bus station, I got there at 0510. (If you read this blog a lot, you’ll notice I tend to be early for things.)
The scene out front for the little bus station office was something akin to a scene from The Warriors. Dark, shuttered store fronts, trash blowing randomly about, and not a soul to be had save the dude that was opening his little corner store/coffee vending place next door. I sat on the ledge of the sidewalk and waited out the sunrise.
The station opened promptly at 0600. Unlike the phone conversations, most of the people there did not have a reservation. Unlike the internet, there was more than one 0630 bus running (this may be for he holiday. I’m not sure about this part.) also, unlike the internet, it was cheaper than planned.
I purchased a round trip ticket for 18 JD, instead of 22 JD on the internet. I was glad this worked out. My alternate option was a private taxi hire for 90 to 180 JD.
As a general note, plan on paying cash for your ticket. Also plan on having exact change. They aren’t big on giving change when they first open.
The scene outside after I got ahold of a ticket was also chaos. There was a dude out at the curb attempting to act as a barker, but it wasn’t completely helpful. I had a nice conversation with a Lufthansa flight attendant who was Day-tripping on her layover. She saved me when I left my passport on the ticket counter. (I shouldn’t be allowed to function before coffee.)
Chaos aside, I got in 0630 bus number 2, and we headed south!
The trip from Amman to Petra took about 4 hours. There was one stop for snacks and suck. The roads in the middle of Jordan are not the best, so hopefully you’re a sound sleeper. If not, you’re going to be looking out at desert for a while.
The bus pulled straight into the Petra bus parking lot. Its a short walk to the entrance gate. A 2 day entry ticket cost 55 JD. It comes with a free horse ride, if you so desire.
The entry into the Petra site is filled with more totes than you can shake a stick at. The only time I think I’ve seen more totes was at the pyramids. You just have to not respond to them when they talk.
It was a 45 minute walk down to the Treasury, which is what I picked as my initial inspection point. I say downhill because it was downhill the entire way to the Treasury. 45 minutes down, and a casual 1.25 hour walk back up.
Take water, its hot out! The weather is hotter than in Amman. The sun is brighter out as well. Take the necessary precautions.
The walk down to the Treasury is the movie version of Petra. Indiana Jones took that route. Or he did, as near as I could tell.
After the walk, there was need for downtime. I picked up a headscarf because the sales guy broke me down. Then it was lunch. Local Jordanian fare. Not much for yogurt based soups, but this was pretty good. Then, it was time to head off to the hotel and chill for a while.
Get out there. Go see UNESCO stuff!