Sunday, October 17, 2010

Holy Land Tour Day 14

Looking back at the village of Petra
Petra to Amman

Today the pilgrims had a long and bumpy bus journey from the wondrous place of Petra to Amman the capital of Jordan.

On the way as we drove slowly through the Bedouin village that services the tourist industry in ancient Petra we saw the locals beginning their trek down the hill for their day's work at the main site. We also noted children being dropped off at school from their camels and donkeys!

 Apparently the donkeys can find their own way to work at the site and back home again at the end of the day.  Not bad for an animal who is said to be silly!

Helen & Di (fearless) atop the Crusaders Castle
 Next stop for the pilgrims was Ash Shawbak, an 11th Century Crusader Castle. This is a huge structure that, like all Crusader Castles, perches high on a mountain top overlooking the surrounding countryside. This one was built slowly and the residents lived in caves in the surrounding area and have continued to do so up until the present time. There are in fact some people still living in caves in the surrounding hillsides.  Inside the castle ruins there is a Byzantine church in relatively good condition complete with Baptistry.

The Promised Land from Mt Nebo

Next stop for the pilgrims was Mt Nebo the place where Moses also arrived a few years earlier to look out over the Jordan Valley to the Promised Land. It was from here that he could see like us Jericho, Jerusalem and a whole lot more. He sent spies to scout the land and bring back a report on the produce and inhabitants. They returned with a great report on the produce but were more than a little concerned about the inhabitants.

Our reflections on Israel today are nearly all positive. We have had a wonderful time on pilgrimage and at the eucharist which Ray celebrated in a chapel provided by the Franciscans we gave thanks to God for this and for the many blessings of which we are all the more aware. We have now almost completed a loop of the Dead Sea in the latter part of the pilgrimage.

Winifred and Marcia at the farewell dinner

Helen and Judy at dinner

Shila Lal at dinner

Our farewell dinner was held in Amman at a restaurant with a Bedouin theme. This seemed entirely appropriate after our long trek through the deserts (Negev) of Jordan. The food was absolutely fantastic and such a relief after lots of Hotel buffets.

Tomorrow the pilgrims rise late, have a few hours to take in the sights of Amman and then we break up into various groups - some returning to Australia, some staying put and others heading off in other directions for more holidays.

Thank you for following the pilgrims on tour in the Holy Land.  From now on Glenys and Ray will be
holidaying in Egypt and the UK and will post blogs when we can on this site. 


  1. It has been wonderful to be able to follow you around the region. I wish the whole group good travelling and look forward to many reunions when you all return.

  2. Im sorry to hear your pilgrimage has come to an end , I have enjoyed your travels on the blog ,your photos have realy given me a good feel of your adventures . thank you .