Petra and Wadi Rum (December 31st - January 5th)(continued)
Petra has a large selection of donkeys, horses and camels that can carry you through the winding streets but I prefer just like looking at them, particularly the camels. They aren't the friendliest animals in the world as despite my constant heckling, they refused to acknowledge my existence. This one raised his head and turned to the side in a show of arrogance as if looking at tourists is so beneath him. I was going to kick some sand in his face but he's pretty big and can run fast.
This donkey did look at me but I think he was annoyed that I was disturbing his lunch. These animals are incredibly sure footed and can climb up and down steep steps with ease, while carrying heavy loads on their backs.
I spent 2 days walking and walking and more walking and was ready for something different so on day 3 Elan and I decided to take a trip to Little Petra, 6 km's away and then hike back by climbing the opposite side up to the Monastery. It was another beautiful day and we hiked in complete isolation through the desert and rocks. The complete absence of the constant sales pitches in Petra (do you want a donkey ride, do you want a horse ride, do you want a camel ride, do you need a taxi) was refreshing. It gets very exhausting listening to this and I think it really detracts from the experience. They should limit the sales pitches to certain areas so you can avoid the repeated attempts to sell you something. On this day though, it was peaceful and a highlight of the visit.
The number of tombs and structures carved out of rock increase as you head down the large passageway heading away from the Treasury.
As you make your way through the tomb lined street you start climbing the 800 steps to the top of a mountain. On the peak is the Monastery which is 50 meters high and 45 meters wide making it much larger than the Treasury. It is another spectacular site enhanced by the cloudless sky and relative quiet away from the hucksters.