I got called Indiana Jones a lot on our big trip around the world. I’d love to say it was because of my rugged features and ability to keep dangerous religious artefacts out of the hands of the forces of evil but if I did Deirdre, loafing around next to me thinking of descending on the town’s eateries like a locust, would call me out as a big, stinking liar.
The real reason was the hat. The smart Fedora, purchased with the dying financial embers of a much abused credit card, solicited complimentary, if cheeky, comments from children and adults alike across three continents until lost in a drunken incident in Turkey a year or so back.
I once threatened, in another drunken incident, to fight an entire bar full of possibly imaginary Irishmen and ladyboys in Bangkok because of that hat. Calming me down the expat bar owner retrieved the missing piece of headwear, most likely from under my own arse, and plied me with free drinks for six hours until noon. Later it kept the tropical sun out of my eyes as I slept head in dinner.
I really really liked that hat even if – before ending in the possession of a lucky Turk it had been bent and battered, rolled in Llama shit and dunked in the Pacific Ocean – it made me look like Farmer, rather than Indiana, Jones.
Deirdre had one of those hats with a flap at the back, as Japanese solders wore in World War Two, but that has no relevance here.
So it was bare headed in a cheap Hoi An coat with my girlfriend and not my Dad that I rounded the end of the Siq and caught that first memorable glimpse of the Treasury.
Then, because I wasn’t looking for the cup of Christ to save Dad’s life, I took about three million photos.
When we were there in 2011, one day cost JD50, two days JD55 and three days JD60. A fourth day can be had for free. Petra by night, a candle lit walk through the Siq to the Treasury, is JD12. A decade later these prices remain true but check Visit Petra for up to date information. Jordanians pay about 50 times less to get in. Though he paid for his ticket Juan Martinez inquired after rumours that it is possible to get into the site for free.
Most hotels in Wadi Musa, the nearby town, will take you to Petra for free. Otherwise walk, it’s not as far as it seems. Taxis cost around JD2. One free horse ride from the site entrance to the entrance to the Siq (or the other way) is included with your ticket but expect to be extorted with the tip. Several visitors reported that they had arguments about this so we were happy to walk each way each time.
We stayed in Cleopetra Hotel during our visit to Petra.
This piece was first published in an older version of our blog which included the following comments:
said: “Beautiful pics. I like the one with the cat, it’s a nice touch 🙂 Or maybe it’s just because I like cats.”
– we replied: “There’s some friendly ones at Petra. I missed some good shots of cats with the Treasury in the background because they kept running up to be stroked rather than posing like I wanted.”
said: “Very nice pics. Did you make another trip to find your secret scroll?”
– we replied: “I was very tempted to look for Jenny’s family scroll. Luckily for her the inclination was driven away by the rather jaunty John Williams music running through my head.”