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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Petra...Again

We're in Jordan, leaving tomorrow for Kuwait. Today 15 of us took a bus to Petra, the ancient Nabatean city built around 200 BC or so. I was there last spring, so I'll try not to show the same pictures. This time we had a guide which added to my understanding of the place. For example, the fabulous "temple" known as the Treasury, the one featured in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, actually was NOT a treasury, but a funerarium, a place of burial. People of later years believed the carved urn above the entrance contained valuables and shot at it to get at the loot, which didn't exist. It's still a "Wow" moment when you first spy it as you come through the crack in the mountains known as the "Siq."

The town outside Petra is called "Wadi Mussa." A Wadi is a river valley. Mussa is Moses. Moses, the one of 40 years lost in the desert, was here. This was where the spring he drank from stands.

As we came into Wadi Mussa we stopped for a photo op. Way off in the distance, at the top of the highest point seen to the left of the picture is a mosque erected in honor of Aaron, Moses' little bro. This place is neck deep in history.

Last time I was in Petra I didn't make it the full distance to the end of the city. This time I was determined. There is a Monastery high on one of the mountains. From nearby you can look into Israel. Our guide was certain I couldn't get to the Monastery and make it back to the bus in time because it is a long, hard climb from the valley to the top. That was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Hey, after all, he didn't know he was talking to a guy who had hammered the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu AND Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka within the last year. Six of us flattened that little rise, spent half an hour taking in the sights and made it to the bus with ten minutes to spare.

Israel in the distance

The Monastery


There were some pretty spectacular views up there in those mountains

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