I generally do not go on group tours. My wife and I like to go out on our own or hire a private guide. On this trip, the group helped make it fun and when I fell, many came to my aid with bandages, gauze, and a bit of sympathy.
Our tour began at the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem where we boarded a very nice bus. Exiting Israel was a bit confusing, but we made it and were welcomed by our Jordanian courteous and capable driver. Our tour guide, Abdullah, warmly greeted us at the Jordanian border and with our passports in hand did everything to make the process painless.
We made two stops. One was at Mt. Nebo where the Lord gave Moses a view of the Promised Land and where Moses might be buried. The Franciscans are caretakers of the site and have proven to be wonderful custodians of the site and chapel. Standing on the mountain and looking at the green of the River Jordan valley with Dead Sea on the left and Jericho on the right was very moving.
When we arrived at Petra it was already dark. Some of the group wanted to see Petra by night and Abdullah graciously accommodated them. My wife and I were tired and instead chose sleep in one of the comfortable tents at the Bedouin Camp. It is in a stunning setting and our tent was what we expected, rustic yet comfortable (well except for the mattress.)
Walking in Petra with all the carved sandstone buildings makes you grateful that the Nabateans took the time and patience to shape the building facades, had the expertise to bring in water, and build such a magnificent place in which to live. Abdullah walked with us to the treasury then set us free to explore on our own.
I can’t say enough good things about the tour. I wanted Petra to live up to my high expectations. It did, in part, because of this tour and our guide.