Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Petra by Night - The Treasury

Entrance fee: 12 JD each, or 62 AED (Roughly RM$50).
Timings: 8.30pm - 10pm, Monday / Wednesday / Thursday only

Child-warning: The terrain is rocky, and very much NOT pram/buggy-friendly. If you have an infant travelling with you, do bring along your Ergo or similar baby-harness!

Anyway, here is what awaits at the entrance ... Its located not far from the nice-looking Movenpick hotel on Petra high-street :-)

1,800 candles lights up the pathway through the rocky road and it gets rather dramatic walking through the Siq ... and 30-40 minutes later, you will get to ... The Treasury (Khazneh). Yes, that's the moon hiding in the horizon on these shots!

Lucky I brought my tripod along, you will need a remote-shutter release as well which I forgot to bring along .. DOH! Here are my efforts with my Nikon D80, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, and Manfrotto 190DB and 496RC2. Alas, I had to shoot in ISO-400, f/2.8 (Not ideal, should have been in f/9 - 11), and 30s exposure on timer-release (Probably could have done with a 5 - 7 minute exposure time on Bulb-mode!).

Anyway, these memories are etched in our minds, especially the haunting Bedouin flute music and warm tea which was served on the breezy cool night!

The 7 Wonders Restaurant, Petra - Jordan

We drove for miles and miles without seeing any civilisation, but eventually (having departed from Dead Sea and Madaba) arrived at Petra :-)

I liked the first dish which arrived, sort of a meatball stew with lots of tomato-gravy. I had this with bread, as they did not have rice on the night. Yummy!

We had a pizza with all the toppings, I think it was called the 7 Wonders Pizza, and a "devil" pizza with spices. These were really big thick-crusted pizzas.

What was most amazing was the price of this meal, 1 meatball dish and 2 pizzas, with a large bottle of local mineral water, cost 37 JD or 190 AED (Nearly RM$155). Eeeeep! Petra is expensive (Hotels, food and entrance fees too)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lawrence's House at Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wow ... some brave souls :-)

This is Um Fruth, a 15m high rock bridge. Amazing!

Ooops .. our pick-up had a flat tyre!

My Nikkor 105mm VR Micro f/2.8 in action in the desert :-)

And we had tea!

It seems nobody is certain that this was Lawrence of Arabia's house, although there are stories that he both stayed and/or stored weapons here!

A parting shot of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom...

The UAE donated a herd of oryx's to Wadi Rum some years ago ... And time to say goodbye to an amazing time in the Jordanian desert.

Wadi Rum, Jordan - Desert safari

Our camp at Wadi Rum ... by moonlight (It was worth bringing my tripod set-up all the way to Jordan!) and at dawn :-)

I captured most of my shots through the trip with bbG's Canon Powershot G10, as well as my Nikon D80 with Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (Also brought along my new Nikkor 105mm Micro VR f/2.8 for a few shots). These shots were taken with the Nikon :-)

Nabatean Hieroglyphics near Lawrence Spring in Wadi Rum...

Oooh ... camels!

More camels ... and a cool "rock bridge"!

A mushroom rock or rock pedestal in the beautiful Wadi Rum :-)

Bedouin breakfast and tea - Wadi Rum

More Bedouin style tea, and nicely warmed flat bread :-) Its breakfast time! Obeid's crew even gave us omelettes, yummm.

Here's what the tent looks like :-) This is the "restaurant" tent, we stayed in another tent alongside. The "toilet" and "shower" tent was 10 metres away as well.

This old (and reliable!?) Nissan Patrol pick-up was going to be our ride for the next 4 hours through the Wadi Rum desert :-)

Kabsa - Bedouin chicken rice, in Wadi Rum

Part of the Obeid Camp experience was to have dinner at his family home :-)

Fragant rice, seasoned with many herbs and spices, with tender chunks of boned chicken ... One of my favourite meals in our 4 day Jordan adventure! - A popular rice dish is Kabsa, mainly made from a mixture of spices, rice, vegetables and meat, such as chicken, goat, lamb, camel.

We even found a little grocery shop near the home of Obeid!

Wadi Rum - Camel ride and sunset

Hello camels!!!

Our Bedouin camel guide! Yes, he is on a mobile phone ...
Mythbuster ... BUSTED!
(1) Yes, there is mobile phone reception in the Wadi Rum desert!
(2) Bedouins have mobile phones!

Our tour started at nearly 6pm ...

... as the sun was setting ...

The sun promptly set at about 6:30pm ...

The experience was interesting, was surprised how TALL camels were, and how lumpy and bumpy the ride is. Just becareful when getting off a camel, you can quite easily get thrown forward!