Saturday, 10 December 2016

Petra portraits -- of humans, animals and stones

It's been too long.

I've missed you. Let's meet soon.

Does the first weekend in December work for you?

How about Petra?


Just over a week ago, Angela and I found ourselves, bathed and ready, waiting for the door that led to the breakfast buffet to open at 5:55 am. The doors opened at 6 sharp and we entered. This was a first for both of us, waiting for a restaurant door to open for breakfast. Angela had another first to follow -- her first time in Petra. This was my second time in 7 years but this time I 'd brought my blogging eyes with me, i.e. my camera.

Going through 500 plus clicks to pick just enough to give you a feel of the place but not spoil the surprise for those of you who are planning to visit Petra in the not so distant future, turned out to be an enjoyable and tedious task. Reliving those magical moments (and there were lots of them) has put a song in my heart and even though the kitchen sink is full of unwashed dishes and there's no sign of dinner, I'm humming a happy song.

Come, feel the sun on the ancient rocks.

See how each layer, sediment and pigment lights up under the blue sky.

Lose yourself in the kohl rimmed eyes of the charming Bedouin men who flirt with you with such confidence and charm that you can't help but smile back.

Sip sweet sage tea offered by Bedouin women who show you pictures of their children on their phones and whose skin glistens and eyes smile.

And just like the clip-clop, clip-clop of the hooves on stones laid down almost 3000 years ago by the Nabataean tribes fades when the animals cross over to the sandy patches in this ancient land, dissolve in the silence of the stones.

Listen with your eyes.

And let the silence of all those who've walked these parts before us keep you company...

These pictures are in no particular order. I surrender to this wonder and let Petra show me the way...with just a few words, I promise, just the bare minimum...

Monsieur Camel, they whispered. 
 Ahmed, our guide.

 This is Hassan. He sells silver bracelets.
Saw him cleaning the Siq on our way back.

Look up!

The 450 year old tree.
Straightened her red jacket, she she caught sight of us wielding camera and phone:)

A rich man's cave, joked Ahmed, with two car garage:)
 Audi and his donkey, Michael Jackson
And we walked into an Asterix comic strip; as if the obelisks around weren't enough.

Made in India:)

That's a fully grown man in the foreground-- the Monastery.

Fifteen year old Mohammed whose family lives in the Bedouin village, down in the valley. 
He sells snacks in this shop and sleeps in a cave nearby as it's not practical to go back home everyday.

Fix roofs, add solar panels and then breathe-- inhale, exhale.
 Camel caravan...his legs wrapped in toga and the camel's belly become one with stone and history.

Art's never far...bought a portrait...will share another day.
Sad eyes, happy laugh.


Silent stones
that speak volumes
tug at you;
at the bit in you
that was there when light first touched earth
the bit that feels the connection
of air and ether
 of the cosmos within
and human history on show.

Hope to see you soon.

Have a wonderful weekend.