Day Three on the Jordan Trail, Hiking 40 miles from Dayna to Petra

Laughing with our cook Isam and my guide Ghassab over breakfast

From my five days Hiking the Jordan Trail,  from Dana to Petra. It is said that Moses, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad have walked along what is now the Jordan Trail. I am excited to share from my on experiences.

With an early rise and breakfast, we continued our trek with some dramatic changes of scenery, from the deep Wadis to the wonderful wide-open sandstone hills. While enjoying the beautiful nature-crafted white dome of Beydha, we descended into Little Petra and visited this ancient site for a taste of the magnificence of main Petra, yet to come.

For me, it was the relationships that I was invited into that I remember the most. Lingering over an amazing breakfast prepared by Isam, our cook from Egypt, sharing stories from around the world with my new friend and guide, Ghassab, as he admired my photographs.

I was very grateful that my sharing from the heart with Ghassab the day before (see Day 02 post) created a relationship that took us beyond tourist and guide. I was grateful that Ghassab valued my photography and it’s heartfelt roots. As a result, he welcomed me into his Bedouin world and introduced me as friend to his family and friends during time together on the Jordan Trail.

It was a great source of joy for me that Ghassab would introduce me to his 85 year old mother as we met her along the trail today. Her strength, tenaciousness and tenderness was evident as she tended to her goats. She stopped long enough to greet me and share some little treasures from her bag as her son interpreted her Arabic into english. A coin that dates back to the Roman age that Noora plucked from a tightly twisted little bag and a beautiful fossil that held a great deal of meaning to her. We both connected through my appreciation of her collection. I loved learning that Noora means Light, it’s funny how people tend to love up to their names.

After a few more hours and stunning scenery, elevation and topography changes, we met Ghassab’s 85 year old uncle Saaid and had a time of tea and relaxation in the Bedouin tent that he calls home. Saiid is Ghassab’s mothers brother, Saiid came from a family of seven brothers and sisters (eight including Saiid) and he himself has eight children. I loved listening to Saiid and Ghassab talk amongst themselves (in Arabic of course) for thirty minutes or so as I stroked the soft white fur of his beautiful cat, Ama alfiran. Ama alfiran has a story, escaping from her owners from Germany while they travelled the Jordan Trail, appearing at Saiid’s tent only after her owners had returned to their country. Apparently, Ama alfiran found a home here as I have, and chose not to leave. Her name in Arabic is أم الفئران (Ama alfiran) and means mother of mouse. I did not ask how she received that name.

After we bid uncle Saiid and Ama alfiran goodbye, we ended our day at little Petra, arriving through the desert just as travelers of the Jordan Trail experienced a few thousand year ago. I could have filled this post with nothing but facts, figures and speculations on how this wonder of the world came into existence but you can google “little Petra”.

For me, it was meeting Noora, Saiid, Ama alfiran and lingering over an always full cup of tea that I will remember most about day three on the Jordan Trail.


capturing-grace
rdm@capturinggrace.org
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