December 02, 2009 GMT

'Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city half as old as time.'

Those words, and these photos, will have to suffice. There's not much I can say, other than it's a magnificent place, huge. We visited over two days and only saw maybe a third of it, the best being the climb up to the monastery and the ambience at the top.
While I was up there, sitting in the teahouse opposite, two young women entering the monastery were obviously struck by the acoustics inside, and sung Barber's Agnes Dei in two-part harmony. Magical. And the something else afterwards that I didn't recognise in the way of an encore.
Amazing, as that's the second time that's happened in this sort of place. The first was at the Roman amphitheatre at Leptis Magna, Libya, where a young female visitor wandered onto the stage area like all visitors, but decided to sing a complete opera aria then and there. I was lucky enough to be up in the seating at the time. Amazing!

Anyway, the Petra guide leaflet suggests other climbs are even better, but more days are needed.
And, having seen the place, my photos and all the postcards on sale don't do it justice.
For me, a much better impression of the city and its atmosphere is conveyed by the 1839 lithographs by David Roberts, many of which were on sale in the teahouses and are often seen in art shops back home.

Entrance canyon.

The elephant in the room. Wind-carved rock shapes in The Siq, pointing the way to the Treasury.

Inside a Petra room-with-a-view.

The Treasury.

On the climb up to The Monastery, a souvenir seller takes a break to make a phonecall.

The Monastery.



Inside The Monastery.

P.S. Further confirmation of our rate of progress.
While in Dalyan, south-west Turkey, a young Dutch couple stayed at our campsite. They were hitch-hiking to Egypt, taking almost the same route as us, and using buses where hitching was inadvisable.
Well, firstly, five minutes after our arrival at our hostal at Petra, Bertrand arrived on his bicycle. Followed five minutes later by the afore-mentioned Dutch couple. And what's more they had made the considerable detour to visit Cappadocia in Turkey as well, which we had missed.
So another official statistic - we are travelling more slowly than hitch-hikers right across Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
- I'm just glad that we haven't yet met anyone walking our route....... Or has he/she already overtaken us and is just crossing into Sudan??

Posted by Ken Thomas at December 02, 2009 10:04 AM GMT

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!