It was a long, long walk back from where the donkeys dropped us off, our young guides making sure to give us a business card in case we wanted their services again!
We had to stop in the Petra bathroom at least one more time. At this point you may be thinking that I am a little preoccupied with the whole bathroom thing. I beg your forgiveness, this bathroom was really spectacular. Even according to the guidebook. One of the vibrantly striped caves had been converted into a real bathroom, with running water. Also for a refreshing change, there was no one trying to get money out of us in there.
I don't mind people trying to make a buck (or a Dinar, as it were) but being squeezed all the time, the combination of feeling guilty and trying to be polite and not get ripped off, was really tiring.
Both kids were completely exhausted and Mike was carrying Bethy on and off. I could hear them making deals. He'd offer "walk to that rock and I'll carry you," and she would, he'd carry her a bit and then they'd renegotiate. I was very pleased to have thought to schedule a massage for him for later in the day and felt like a good wife. Thomas was making no deals of any kind so I hauled him along on my hip. It seemed like a long, long way back to the beginning, which it was. Despite all we'd asked of them out in the heat and sand, Thomas and Bethy were being very, very well behaved.
the kids, worn out, resting on a rock
By the time we got out of the Siq the horses for hire to take passengers up the hillside to the entrance looked awfully appealing. We bartered hard and got some dramatically disgusted looks but secured our ride. The man who came along with my horse kept whopping it on the backside to make it break into a trot, which would then scare my little passenger Thomas. At the end both horse drivers tried to blackmail us into coughing up some more Dinar, ("for the horses, lady!") but we were having none of it. We thanked the men and the horses and moved on.
There are few words to say how good this tasted back at the hotel: