afternoon light facades of petra tombs 1989

Camping 3 Nights in Petra – Jordan, 1989

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Everyone knows about Petra, and so many travel bloggers have over-done it in recent years (night photos of candles and crap everywhere) – so there’s no travel advice here; simply a few pics digitized from my pre-digital travel era.


Back in 1989 … I simply walked into the entrance of Petra, Jordan, paid my fee, and wandered in with a sleeping bag under arm.

treasury tomb petra jordan 1989
The famous “treasury” in 1989 – quiet, apart from a lone Bedouin. ( Note: the size of the doorway compared to a human! No night candle displays then).

Despite a sign saying no overnight stays, no camping; no one stopped me.

MRP sleeping cave petra jordan 1989
MRP age 23, outside my cave, well-away from the main areas where I slept 3 nights in Petra in 1989.

I spent 3 nights sleeping in a small cave/tomb away from the main areas. Leaving my backpack there, while I explored Petra by day.

siq narrow entrance to petra jordan
The Siq: the narrow, twisting gully entrance to Petra.

My bed was a mattress of squat, deep-rooted bushes – that I couldn’t pull out but sawed-thru the stems with my Swiss Army knife; the clumped heap on the stone cave floor was quite comfortable.

rugged mountain canyon surrounds of petra
The steep climb to “The Monastery” tomb, up gullies and mountain paths.

All my meals consisted of processed cheese with tomatoes and tinned tuna in Arabic flat bread that I carried in with me.

Supplemented by sweet, hot tea – “shay” offered by local Bedouin (who still lived within the ruins).

monastery tomb petra jordan
The famous “Monastery” tomb – high above the valley of Wadi Musa, Petra. (Note: A few – tiny – people on the rock near the foot of the tomb).
afternoon light facades of petra tombs 1989
Bedouin passing beyond the “Roman Arches”; looking to the main cluster of tombs within Petra.
boy with dead fox petra jordan 1989
Local lad with dead fox, Petra, near my hide-away.
colorful patterns of rock petra jordan
Colorful rock patterns on rocks near my hide-away in Petra.
storm clouds petra jordan
Stormy skies over Petra bought light rain one afternoon.
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