The day dawned clear and bright and I leapt out of bed, anxious to get started. I grabbed a hoodie, figuring that even though the days were fairly warm it was still December and there was bound to be at least a bit of a chill in the air this early in the morning.
As our eyes shifted back down to earth we saw, lying in front of the Treasury and looking very intolerantly bored with everything, our first camel. Richly tasseled blankets were draped over him and a brightly jeweled saddle was perched across his hump. He regarded us with baleful eyes, then stretched his long neck out and gently rested his heavy head on the warm sand. The air was thick with time and meaning, the sand that shifted beneath our feet heavy with history. Time seemed to slow to a stop then swing backwards, carrying us back hundreds of years to when the Bedouin masons looked at the mountains and envisioned a great city. My musings about this idyllic setting were abruptly shattered by a loud, disgusting sound that could only be described as someone noisily experiencing massive, painful indigestion. Or possibly about a dozen donkey/goat/cow hybrids being attacked by a chainsaw-waving madman. On the plus side, now I know what a camel sounds like. And thanks to Petra's great acoustics, I wasn't allowed to forget it.....the entire time we were there. The grunts, groans and moans echoed and reverberated throughout the entire canyon. Constantly. And it never failed to send me into a fit of giggles, not once. This was very nearly hazardous at several points.