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, like 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.
One day costs 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.
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 JD2. One free horse ride from the entrance to the entrance to the Siq (or the other way) is included with your ticket.
We stayed in Cleopetra Hotel during our visit to Petra.