Our weather luck changed today. In fact, John and Ann called over breakfast to let us know that the park had been temporarily closed for fear of flash flooding. As we’ve been saying in Tareef for weeks, the weather’s been great for biking and sightseeing this winter, but bad for Jordan, so I have to be grateful for the rain. Still, the timing could hardly have been worse for Philip, who was sure that winter would be over by the time he arrived in Jordan!
Nevertheless, as we lingered over breakfast, hoping the weather would change, another couple sat down at the breakfast table and starting talking to each other in a language I know and love … Schwyyzerduutsch! A lovely middle-aged couple from Winterthur, Switzerland, they even gave us a ride down into the park when it had opened.
I’m running out of new things to see in a single day in Petra. Most of the things I’d most like to see now require advanced planning, more than one day, and a guide. Still, it’s fun to go through the park with different people and see it through different eyes. Petra with Josh, Petra with Auntie Viv, Petra with my parents, Petra with Chris Tuttle, and Petra with Philip are very different experiences. Josh wants to pet every stray animal he comes across. Auntie Viv and I climbed every mountain in the place. I started out that way with my parents, and consequently, Mom couldn’t walk uphill on the second day, and we rode donkeys, camels and horses all the way home. Going with Chris Tuttle was just fascinating because he knows every stone and every Bedouin in the camp by name and history. It was fun, then, to explore with Philip and recall all the things that I had learned on the expert tour this past summer.
Plus, Philip is a shopper. We hit almost every stand in the park, buying necklaces and such. I ended up with some very nice additions to my growing jewelry collection. As Philip said, “Maryah! You’re finally turning into a girl!”
We also found ourselves with a little girl, Fawzia, leading us around the park and trying to play tour guide, which was cute for awhile, and then got annoying, and then she asked for money for a tour we neither asked for nor needed! In retrospect, I think perhaps Auntie Viv and I were also shadowed by Fawzia and a friend of hers, but three years ago they didn’t ask us for money!