"About Petra and people with BIG heart" Petra by Nathalie_B

Petra Travel Guide: 987 reviews and 2,536 photos

Very early in the morning, 5am to be exact, we arrived to Eilat, ready to cross the border to Jordan – our long desired trip.
First, like almost every first timer, we wanted to take a guide and be met at the border in order to continue our 2 days trip accompanied by a professional. However, we changed our minds and decided to go on our own. This was the wisest decision made!

At 8:30 am we were done with the passport procedures on the Israeli side and started walking towards Jordanian border. A young, Jordanian security guard got out of a humble booth and walked towards us, with a huge smile on his face! His first words were “Welcome to Jordan”, only then he took our passports and asked for our purposes of crossing the border. We said we were heading to Petra and complimented him on his smile. We shook hands and he said again “Welcome to Jordan” with the most sincere smile that was coming from the bottom of his heart – we could easily see the happiness in his eyes! This smile was a sign of an unforgettable trip, from there on things only got better.

As we got to the passport control at least 5 tour groups were already there waiting for a stamp, it meant that we’re last in line and it could take ages, add to it electricity and computer problems we were ready to spend there a couple of hours. This is when we met Mohammed, a tour guide that was there with his group. After a small chit-chat with us he went to the passport control, asked them to find our passports in the huge pile that was already there and made sure they are stamped in no time! We were ready to start our trip to Petra, but before we wanted to tip our savior. He refused to take the money and wished us a pleasant trip, hoping to meet us in Petra.

We negotiated our taxi ride to Petra and another Mohammed drove us to the place we dreamed of. After driving about 45 minutes through the beautiful landscapes of Jordanian desert, Mohammed stopped his taxi and invited us for a great Bedouin coffee. Sure we couldn’t refuse, especially after being awake since a night before. We wanted to pay for the coffee, but our host refused, saying it was his treat. After a short brake we continued our journey, getting closer and closer to Petra. Driving on a dusty road Mohammed started counting…. one…two… and as he said three we found ourselves standing on a cliff overlooking the Araba. Go head he said, take some pictures.
Shooting pictures of the red mountains we suddenly saw familiar face, Mohammed the Savior was walking towards us, saying that he’s happy to see us again. But then he admitted that he was insulted by our tip gesture and asked to never do it again! I’ll see you in Petra he said, and we hoped we will, but unfortunately it was the last time we saw him.

We arrived to our hotel in Wadi Musa at 11am and were greeted by another smiling face, this time it was our hostel owner – Mosleh. He didn’t rush to start the check in procedure; first he invited us to sit in the homey lobby of the hostel and brought us delicious coffee. The logo on the hostel’s business card said “Come as a guest, leave as a friend”. Since our very first moment at the Cleopetra we felt like we knew Mosleh forever. After 30 minutes of chat and coffee we started making our plans to go to the place we crossed the border for. We asked Mosleh how we get to Petra and he said “I’ll drive you there”. Could this experience of Jordanian hospitality get any better? Keep reading, this was just the beginning!
At noon we arrived to the main entrance, Mosleh dropped us there and promised to pick us up at 6pm. For 6 hours we explored what is about to become the new wonder of the world. There was no stone we missed; there was no Nabatean masterpiece we skipped. Sweaty and tired we made it all the way to the top – the monastery.
At 6pm we were back at the entrance, ready to be picked up. A nice man approached us and asked if we were waiting for Mosleh, we said yes. “I’m his father” the man said “I’m going to drive you back”. WOW
The rest of our day was spent in a local, simple restaurant recommended by Mosleh, and watching Indiana Jones, the one that was filmed in Petra.
Next day we woke up at 8am and were ready to go back home, but not before we explore the beauty of Wadi Rum. This is when we met our driver Mohammed #3, but for us he’ll always be the one and the only. But this is another story…..to be continued…

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:I've never met such wonderful people in my life!
  • Last visit to Petra: May 2007
  • Intro Updated May 21, 2007
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Comments (1)

  • Norali's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Terrific site, Petra & nice people, as far as I can see. Waiting for the next chapter(s) of your account...

Nathalie_B

“Beauty lies in the hands of the beer holder”

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