Most Inspirational Moment
First glimpse of The Treasury at Petra, having walked through the Siq. The expert knowledge of Mikhled explaining the various carvings added greatly to the experience. The sheer expanse and quiet of the desert at Wadi Rum was awesome.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Mikhled was an excellent leader who was hugely knowledgeable and was able to communicate effectively without overloading us with facts and figures. He was happy to elabarte on any topic when requested. He was very organised, had a good sense of humour, and never got flustered. It was unfortunate that the late arrival on day 1 and early start on day 2 meant that our group didn't get a proper chance to introduce ourselves. With a large group of 20 this was a slight disadvantage which took a couple of days to resolve.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Take Jordanian Dinars with you (rather than US Dollars). The Trip Notes need revison on this matter. The Petra Visitor Centre had a 3 D model of the Petra site which was very useful in giving an understanding of the physical relationship of the various sites and monuments. The Visitor Centre and Petra Museum should be mentioned in the Trip Notes. Travel light. There are plenty of opportunities to wash and dry clothes.
We had two meals out with Jordanian families. The first was excellent, with the dignified host and family talking about Jordanian family life and mingling with the group. We opted out of "Petra By Night" to have a "Mansaf" meal at the second family. While the food was enjoyable, the evening was not a success as the host "Jeff" dominated the evening and conversation in a manner which caused us to be distinctly uncomfortable. In retrospect we would much rather have exerienced "Petra By Night" and eaten Mansaf at a local restaurant. While we understand the need to use trusted hosts, the fact that "Jeff" was hosting our group of 16, as well as the Exodus Cycling group and an American couple (all in different rooms), did not seem to meet the objective of helping (a number of) local families. The Edom hotel in Wadi Musa was excellenty positioned but our room was not clean and had a view of a rubble and rubbish pile out of the window (photos available!). At Wadi Rum, the Trip Notes advised that we would "learn about Bedouin culure and music through interacting with the family who run the camp". This did not happen.