Petra, Jordan

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<p>We would like information about the optional tour<br /> to Petra that many tour companies to Israel offer.<br /> Would it be a difficult experience for someone who<br /> has a knee problem? We really want to visit Petra, but,<br /> would like to hear from someone who has been there<br /> about how rugged it is. </p>

We were there last year, its about a mile walk, going in its a slight down slope, returning is uphill. There are rest areas along the way. Also there are cart rides, but the path is rocky so it could be a little rough. If you have the opportunity you should not miss going to visit, its really a beautiful sight.

Thank you for your reply. I think it
sounds do-able. We really don't want to miss it
and I have months to build up the strength in my
knee.

Think about using/bringing walking sticks. They make all the difference in the world now hiking and all the Swiss use them. Practice walking with them at home and see if you think they will work for you. You should not miss Petra. The cart rides only go a very short distance, plus there is still the whole panorama to see well beyond the first stop at the Treasury at the end of the narrow entry way Siq. I would not recommend you try the side trips to the Monestary or the Place of High Sacrifice which does entail a lot of uphill stairs, but who knows maybe the walking sticks will get you up them too. That would be great if they did.

I was able to see Petra both at night by candle and moon light and in the daytime. It is an experience I will never forget. I suffered from a serious knee injury that required 3 months of PT. I built up my knee by walking 2 - 3 miles each day in preparation for the trip. It was worth it. It is a treasure not to be missed. Walk in, do not take the carts.

A walking stick is a good idea. I don't want to
miss Petra.
I'm still doing P.T., but we won't be traveling
until next fall-so I do have time to get my knee in
better shape.

We now hike with two sticks (like ski poles) - which is what one now sees all over Europe and recently started seeing more in the California Sierras. There is a rhythm to walking with them but with a little practice they really help shift the effort more to the upper body and away from the knees.
Plus the best thing is you don't always have to look down at your feet to keep you balance over rough terrain since you now have at least a three point balance and they are the best ever crossing streams and teetering on rocks (which you will not have to do in Petra.
What will amaze you when you take the time to just sit and have some quiet time in the Petra Valley (I liked the "front porch" of the Royal Tombs the best) is to see the Bedu families scramble up and down impossibly steep and narrow trails that wind up and down this area from cave to cave, as if they were on a flat super highway.

Thanks for info and advice, Travel Centurian.
It sounds good. I can't wait to see Petra.

If you feel you don't want to walk back to the main entrance, there is a back exit from Petra - a dirt service road along Wadi Turkmaniyya. This is used for emergency and supply vehicles into the site, but your guide can arrange to have a taxi waiting here to return you to your hotel. He will probably have to get permission (in writing) from the tourist police to do this. This road leads to Umm Sayhoun, a small village and there might be a police barrier just before the village. This would save you having to backtrack thru Petra to return to the main gate.
If you want to do this, you should arrange for the permission as soon as you get to Petra. Your guide can arrange the taxi, give the driver the written permission to show at the barrier, and pre-arrange a pick-up time. Everyone has cell phones, so your guide can also call the driver when you are ready to be picked up.

I heard from someone who has been to Israel and Jordan in the same trip and they said not to combine them! I'm not quite sure why but I am heading there with a group and to Egypt first. It's supposed to be the perfect combo!
Best,
Steve
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Moderator note: advertising removed

There seem to be some problems in the past with some MidEast countries not honoring passports that have Israeli stamps in them. Not sure if this is still the case, but it did have an effect on order of countries visited when this was an issue. Go to the other countries first, and then to Israel after would have been the proper order. There were trips to Jerusalem from Aqaba and even just going out to see this border cross and the WestBank essentially no man's land is sobering reminder of what is so close, yet so far apart. And the fact there remain now decades old Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, esp outside Ammon.
The Middle East flashpoints are still lived day to day in Jordan, the land inbetween angry neighbors, where oil from Iraq is transported daily in large caravans across its border to the sea port in Aqaba and where you can suit up in your skimpy bathing suit to go scuba diving within immediate view of the Saudi border guards south of Aqaba.